US House member Rep. Steve Pearce (R-New Mexico) said Friday (July 15) that if a debt ceiling agreement is not reached by the August 2nd deadline, he thinks President Obama will purposely refuse to send out Social Security checks.
Earlier this week (July 12), Obama said in an interview with CBS News that “I cannot guarantee that [Social Security] checks go out on August 3rd if we haven’t resolved this issue, because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it.”
Since then, a number of financial and economics experts have said that the US Treasury can and will be able to meet its obligations to Social Security recipients (you can click here for a financial advisor from www.marketwatch.com about this issue) and Republicans accused the President of preying on the fears of seniors in order to score political points.
Swickard: Congressman, could you speak directly to the senior citizens and the citizens of New Mexico. How is what’s happening going to affect them because they’re being told that this is the end of life on this planet as they known it. Is the President bluffing, do you think?
Pearce: Well, I don’t think he’s bluffing. I think he’ll actually withhold their payments if we don’t override him, overrule him and I have sponsored a piece of legislation allowing us to do just that. It would require us to prioritize our payments that go out, just in case we don’t reach a deal, yeah.
Nikolewski: Do you really think he’d do that?
Pearce: I think he sent troops into Libya without constitutional approval in direct violation of the Constitution. He has shown a tendency to act with kind of disregard for what should be done, yeah.
Nikolewski: The tenor is already pretty tense. If he did that, that would raise it above 10.
Pearce: Yeah, I’m just telling you if you look, they’ve put legislation, they put words in the health care bill that was passed last year that allows the Secretary of Health and Human Services to go to the Treasury and withdraw whatever amount she needs to implement the program. They put that in 40 different times, approximately 40 times in the legislation. It means different things so that we couldn’t defund any piece of the health care bill. That’s a very radical stance. We see the ATF things where somewhere in this administration they approved for weapons to be shipped across our southern border. We saw that incursion into Libya with no provocation from Libya to us. We’re in times where strange things are happening in Washington.
Later in the interview, Pearce said he did think a deal will be struck by the August 2nd deadline but added:
“We have talked a lot about Armageddon if we don’t pass the debt ceiling. There’s an equal Armageddon on the other side if we don’t start curing the spending problems.”
You can listen to the entire interview by clicking on the audio archives section from KSNM AM570 News New Mexico (7/15/2011) Hour 3.