Senators Say Obama’s Default Comments Dangerous for Economy

Sen. John Thune, (R., S.D.) chairman of the Senate Republican Conference / AP

Republican senators said Wednesday that the president’s comments about a potential default could destabilize the economy.

The senators, led by Sens. John Thune (R., S.D.) and Orrin Hatch (R., Utah), addressed President Barack Obama’s recent CNBC interview in which he said the Republican members of Congress were "willing potentially to default" by not raising the debt limit.

"Any talk of default is counterproductive," they said. "It creates greater uncertainty and drives policymakers further away from reaching a bipartisan, common-sense agreement. While some may perceive talk of default as just poorly timed political rhetoric, it is possible that our financial markets could continue to take such comments at face value."

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The financial uncertainity may cause borrowing costs to rise for families and small businesses, the senators said.

"Rather than stoking fears that could destabilize financial markets and hurt investors, we believe now is the time to make a significant down payment on addressing America’s long-term debt problems," they said.

Other senators who signed include Sens. Richard Burr (R.,N.C.), John Cornyn (R., Texas), Mike Crapo (R., Idaho), Mike Enzi (R., Wyo.), Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa), Johnny Isakson (R., Ga.), Rob Portman (R., Ohio), Pat Roberts (R., Kan.), and Pat Toomey (R., Pa.).