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Wyden contests depictions of debt ceiling showdown as spending issue

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Brian Bull
/
KLCC
The U.S. Capitol building in Washington D.C.

An Oregon senator says some right-wing conservatives are misrepresenting the pending debt ceiling vote.

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Brian Bull
/
KLCC
U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, visiting the KLCC studios in Eugene on Jan. 15, 2023.

With the U.S. Treasury Secretary’s office warning Congress that the nation will reach its debt limit this Thursday, Democrat Ron Wyden says it’s time for bipartisan negotiations, free of rhetoric.

“There’s been a real effort to distort this whole debate,” Wyden told KLCC while visiting Eugene this weekend. “There’s been some on the far right who keep saying, “We’ve got to stop new spending, stop new spending!” That’s not what the debt ceiling vote is all about, it’s about paying bills that have already been incurred.

“Kinda like somebody would come to Lane County and go out to dinner and have a great salmon and a bottle of wine, and fabulous dessert, and then they walk out without paying the bill.”

Congress can pass legislation to either raise the country’s $31.4 trillion borrowing authority, or suspend it for awhile.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says she can use “extraordinary measures” to avoid default, but urges action soon.

©2023, KLCC.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (19 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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