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Toomey: No McConnell or Gang o' 6

Published by Daniel Malloy on .

Appearing on Sean Hannity's Fox News program last night, Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., said what he's been hinting at for a while: "Certainly in their current forms, I can't support" the Gang of Six proposal or the Mitch McConnell punt to increase the debt ceiling. He's backing Cut, Cap and Balance, which mandates passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment, spending caps and immediate cuts before a debt ceiling increase.

Toomey also continues his drumbeat that the administration is being dishonest about what happens if we don't raise the debt limit, saying that in August we can pay Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, the military and interest on the debt, and that President Obama is using "a scare tactic" by saying he's not sure if Social Security will be paid.

Here's a good analysis by the Bipartisan Policy Center of what happens in August. Toomey's statement is correct, as the $172.4 billion the government expects to receive would cover those obligations, plus veterans benefits, IRS refunds and the Department of Justice. But that would leave only a couple billion to divide among federal salaries (excluding active duty military pay, $14.2 billion), unemployment insurance payments ($12.8 billion), food stamps ($6.7 billion) or Pell Grants ($10.4 billion) -- and every other federal government expenditure.

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