WASHINGTON — Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a likely GOP White House hopeful, called on congressional Republicans to block an increase in the limit on federal borrowing, and he proposed legislation that he said would prevent a U.S. default on its loans.In an interview with The Wall Street Journal Sunday and in an appearance on "Fox News Sunday," Mr. Pawlenty challenged even leaders in his own party, who have said Congress must increase the federal debt ceiling rather than risk a default that could send interest rates skyrocketing and the economy back into recession.Mr. Pawlenty said Congress should pass legislation that would put interest and debt payments ahead of other federal spending and allow the federal government to pay its creditors as tax revenue flows in. With the surge of tax payments that come in between April and June, that would at least buy time to try to cut spending dramatically, he said."This debate about how we're going to restructure spending is inevitable. My view is, let's have it now," Mr. Pawlenty said in the Journal interview. "Let's call their bluff."
Monday, January 17, 2011
From Jonathan Weisman of The Wall Street Journal on Jan. 17: