Representative Garret Graves Sees Hope in Debt Limit Talks

I haven’t heard anyone say they’re scared, and I haven’t heard anyone say, “Hey, I want to default.”

… Except for former President Donald J. Trump, who said at a CNN town hall earlier this week that Republicans should let the country default if they can’t get acceptable spending cuts.

Well, I didn’t watch that at all. I read a headline; I really don’t know exactly what he said or the context in which he said it. In terms of our side, behind closed doors, in front of microphones, I haven’t heard anyone say, “Hey, I want to default.” I think there’s good intentions on our side.

But there’s no question that it was a strategic decision by the White House and by Democrats to try to manufacture the crisis by getting as close to the backstop as possible. That’s why there was the 97 days of no communication, that’s why they said they would not negotiate. Those were tactics to create the crisis, and they believed that would give them more leverage in negotiations.

The problem they’ve caused themselves is that if there’s a default, they 100 percent own it.

(A White House spokesman, Andrew Bates, responded, “House Republicans are admitting that they are single-handedly holding millions of jobs, retirement accounts, and businesses hostage unless they are paid a growing list of extreme ransom demands.” He added, “President Biden isn’t demanding anything in exchange for avoiding default.”)

What do you want out of these talks with the White House?

Something to raise the debt ceiling. But something else that is an absolute priority is something that will really bend the curve. The trajectory that we’re on right now is absolutely unsustainable. It is punitive to children and grandchildren.

How did you end up in this role of the appointed convener of the so-called five families within the Republican conference?

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