Inouye: Debt Debate 'Doing This Nation Harm'

Adrienne LaFrance/Civil Beat

WASHINGTON — As the federal government's deadline for how to handle the debt ceiling looms, Sen. Daniel Inouye says political discord about the issue has already hurt the national economy.

"As we get closer to the deadline, if you were a businessman, you'd get a little nervous, wouldn't you?" Inouye told Civil Beat in an interview Monday. "When business executives get nervous, they might be reluctant to invest. And if you're reluctant to invest, that means you won't be hiring people. You may be firing people."

President Obama and Senate and House leaders are in a stand-off over how to lift the debt ceiling. They have an Aug. 2 deadline, after which Obama says the country might not be able to pay its bills.

Inouye, who is chairman of the Senate Appropriations committee, is a member of a small bipartisan team looking for ways to reduce the deficit. He had little positive to say about his negotiations with Republicans.

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