- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 3, 2011

Republican and Democratic lawmakers on Sunday predicted Congress would agree on a short-term deal this week that would avoid a federal shutdown on Friday.

“I think we can do this,” Sen. Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” of the proposed continuing resolution to fund the government.

Lawmakers on other TV programs agreed.

“I think we’ll find consensus. There are enough Democrats out there who want to be on the right side of this,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, said on “Face the Nation.”

But other Republicans warned there are many more difficult — and more important — spending decisions facing the nation than funding the remainder of fiscal 2011.

Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, a freshman who is a tea party favorite and one of the leading voices for fiscal restraint in the new Congress, vowed he will not support an upcoming vote on raising the debt ceiling without concessions from Democrats.

Mr. Rubio wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that he wants a balanced budget amendment, in addition to other spending reforms, before he will support the debt vote.

“The people who are against my position on this argue that if we do not extend the debt limit, it will lead to a catastrophic default,” he said. “My answer to that is if all we do is extend the debt limit, it will be even worse.”

Another high-profile Republican, Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, echoed the hard-line stand on the debt ceiling.

“I intend to vote against the debt ceiling unless we can get some systemic reforms,” he said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Sen. Mark Warner, Virginia Democrat, appearing on the same program, said the Republican talk about holding the line on the debt ceiling was “frightening.”

Mr. Reid said Republicans such as House Speaker John A. Boehner are kowtowing to political pressure from vocal tea party constituents.

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