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POLITICS: PennAve

Rand Paul: 'Irresponsible' for Obama to talk about default

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Barack Obama,Debt Ceiling,Rand Paul,PennAve,Joseph Lawler,Economy

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul criticized President Obama on Sunday for his administration's repeated dire warnings over the approaching debt limit deadline, saying “It's irresponsible of the president and his men to even talk about default" and insisting there is no chance the government will miss a payment on its debt.

Appearing on NBC's "Meet the Press," Paul noted that the government takes in more in revenue each month than it pays out in interest on Treasury bonds, and that President Obama has not acted on a bill passed by House Republicans that would have instructed the Treasury to prioritize payments on the debt over other government obligations, ensuring that Treasury bonds will not fail.

"This is kind of of like closing the World War II Memorial," Paul said of the Obama administration. "They all get out on TV and they say, 'oh, we're going to default.' They're the ones scaring the marketplace."

But when asked by host Savannah Guthrie if a delay in other government payments other than the debt could also harm the economy, Paul avoided answering the question directly. Instead, he mentioned that the 2011 debt ceiling standoff resulted in a credit downgrade for U.S. debt because the ratings agency Standard & Poor's claimed the resulting deficit deal did not do enough to lower the debt.

In the interview, Paul also blamed the president for the ongoing government shutdown, claiming that the House GOP's approach of passing small funding bills for different government functions is the same or even better than voting for a larger bill that would fund the government with no strings attached.

Passing appropriations bills to fund the NIH, veterans' benefits, and other programs is "actually a much better way to run government," said Paul, "because right now you're sticking everything into one bill, and that's why the leverage of shutting the government down occurs. But if you did things appropriately and you passed appropriation bills one at a time, no one would be able to shut down government ever"

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