McConnell sees debt fight as opportunity

May 15, 2011 at 11:43 AM

WASHINGTON, May 15 (UPI) -- The looming debt ceiling fight is a chance for major budget reform, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday.

Speaking on CNN's "State of the Union," McConnell, R-Ky., saw "an opportunity to bring a Democratic president who's been leading a spending binge over the last couple of years and a new, much more Republican Congress which believes the American people want us to reduce spending significantly, bring those two together and get something done."

"Some of our biggest accomplishments in the last quarter of a century have been when you have divided government," he said. "Think of Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill working together to save Social Security for another generation in 1983. Think of Bill Clinton and the Republican Congress balancing the budgets and passing welfare reform."

He ruled out any tax increases.

Saying the government has more than $50 trillion in unfunded liabilities, McConnell said, "We need to impress the markets, impress foreign countries that we're going to get our act together."

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., chairman of the House Budget Committee, said Republicans are "the ones who have put out all the specifics and details. We have yet to see counter-offers from the other side."

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