DeMint Urges Face-Off Over Debt Ceiling

With weeks to go before the U.S. reaches its statutory debt limit, some conservatives inside and outside of Congress have been getting cold feet about refusing permission to authorize new borrowings to pay the country’s bills.

But Jim DeMint, who quit the Senate late last year to become the next president of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative Washington think-tank, is urging Republicans in Congress to hold their nerve in the upcoming confrontation with the White House.

Mr DeMint, a Tea Party favourite in the Senate, said Republicans should use the debt ceiling to force the budget on to a sustainable path. He dismissed claims that a refusal to back new borrowings threatened sovereign default.

“The government itself is not going to shut down. In fact, I don’t think people are even going to notice it,” Mr DeMint told the Financial Times.

The U.S. Treasury has warned the country would run out of money to pay its creditors some time between mid-February and early March unless Congress acted to increase the $16.4 trillion borrowing authority.

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