Marsha Blackburn, Tennessee Representative: Government Shutdown Is An Option

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Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) floated the possibility Monday that the House Republicans would risk a potentially catastrophic government shutdown to force spending cuts.

"We are going to look at all of these options. You know, there is the option of government shutdown. There is an option of raising the debt ceiling in short-term increments," she said on MSNBC's "Jansing & Co."

When asked if she supported the latter, she said, "I don't know. I just know that that's one of the things that is being floated, as you've seen in some of the articles, is raising it in short-term in increments."

Said Blackburn, "There are a lot of plans out there."

She was asked if her constituents supported a government shutdown. "Yes they are, yes they are. But if they want us to be thoughtful in what is done. And this is the good thing: you know, maybe it's better to keep it open so we can keep cutting it. What we want to do is look at all of these ramifications. If you were to do the shutdown, exactly what is going to continue, who is going to hold the purse?"

When asked whether she would risk default or shutdown if she didn't get the spending cuts she wanted, Blackburn said, "I think that there is a way to avoid default. If it requires shutting down certain portions of the government, let's look at that. Let's put these options on the table, be very thoughtful, but get this spending pattern broken."

Politico reported that "more than half" of House Republicans are open to the possibility of shutting down the government to force spending cuts. Republicans could either refuse to raise the debt limit or extend the current continuing resolution, which expires on March 27. Either option could be disastrous for the economy. Other Republicans, like Newt Gingrich, have said that the GOP should not use the debt ceiling for leverage.

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