Claire McCaskill
12:01 pm
Wed July 13, 2011

McCaskill accusing GOP of playing politics

As budget talks continue in Washington, Sen. Claire McCaskill is accusing GOP leadership of playing politics during negotiations with the president.

 Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell, the top Republican in the Senate, is proposing to give President Obama sweeping power to, in effect, unilaterally increase the nation’s debt limit to avoid a first-ever default on U.S. obligations.

 McCaskill, a Democrat, says McConnell’s plan is purely political.

 “It is so ridiculous,” said McCaskill during her weekly conference call with reporters. “It is so transparently political that all Mitch McConnell is worried about is whether or not the Republicans can win the Senate next year. And I think it’s unfortunate. It’s very unfortunate. ”

Under McConnell’s plan, Obama could request increases of up to $2.5 trillion dollars in borrowing authority in three installments over the next year, as long as he simultaneously proposed spending cuts of greater size.

 McCaskill says she is disappointed and frustrated that President Barack Obama and GOP leaders have yet to come to a compromise during recent budget negotiations and says it’s time for the Congress and Senate to stop worrying about re-elections.

 “And it’s time now to live up to our responsibilities,” McCaskill said. “Say that we can’t spend as much money as we’ve been spending; fix our tax code so it’s fairer to the people in the middle class that are so important to the health of our nation; and do some reform to the entitlement programs so they’re there for our grandchildren.”

 McCaskill remains hopeful that a compromise will emerge soon.