July 26, 2011
Congressman Robert Hurt is confident there will be a deal to end the debt stalemate before the Aug. 2 deadline. The freshman Congressman answered plenty of phone calls and attended plenty of meetings Tuesday in what he says has been a frustrating stalemate.
“Coming off an election where there is so much eagerness and so much commitment to changing things in a big way, it's very frustrating to be here and be stuck in the tar pit,” the Fifth District Representative said.
Hurt tells CBS19 he's been deeply involved in the U.S. House proposals to raise the debt ceiling and cut spending, meeting almost daily with House leadership.
“We have met as a conference everyday since we've been in session, so this has been an active conversation that has gone back and forth. I think the leadership has been very responsive to what our members and I believe are important,” Hurt explained.
While Hurt may be confident, there's still plenty of pessimism in Washington and around the nation. The White House threatened to veto pending House legislation, a bill he says his colleagues stepped up to the plate in submitting.
Speaker of the House John Boehner has been working to gather enough votes to pass his plan through the House and Senate. The bill would raise the debt limit by $1 trillion while making $1.2 trillion in cuts to federal spending. Some conservatives say that's not enough and some Democrats say it needs to be balanced with more tax revenue.
Whichever deal ultimately passes, Hurt says Congress owes it to the American people to reach an agreement by next Tuesday's deadline, something he's working on daily.
"It is my obligation, first of all, to keep my eye on the fact that we have to get something done by August second," he said.
Despite the frustrations of the House, Senate and President Barack Obama all presenting different plans and different roadblocks, Hurt believes Washington is still heading in the right direction in the debt talks. He still anticipates a deal before the deadline to prevent the country from defaulting on its loans.