Congressman Mo Brooks Explains Why He’s Willing To Shut Down Government, Use Debt Ceiling For Leverage

(WHNT) – Many went back to work at Redstone Arsenal on Monday. Many others have to wait out a government compromise.

But when we questioned Congressman Mo Brooks (R-District 5) about the shutdown, he downplayed the overall economic effects.

“A government shutdown has an adverse effect on our economy, although we’ve had through the 1970s and 1990s, we’ve had 17 government shutdowns, and as you know, we had a thriving economy in the 80s and in the 90s.”

Brooks says spending has spun out of control, and he says he’ll use all possible tools to curtail it.

“I am quite willing to do whatever I can with respect to continuing resolutions, appropriation bills, debt ceiling votes, to try to get those in Washington who are financially irresponsible to start doing the right thing,” said Rep. Brooks.

But is there any hope for those tactics that brought the government to a halt?

Congressman Brooks thinks Republican House leadership could still get its way.

He says even now he can envision a circumstance where the Democratic Senate votes to push back the Affordable Care Act.

“Under the right circumstances it’s possible.  We’d have to see how those circumstances unfold.  Today, unlikely.  Tomorrow, maybe,” he said.

But for Brooks, it always comes back to spending, and he’s not scared of using government shutdowns or debt ceiling hikes to make his point.

“If I have to use those bills to cajole them to start thinking about the long-term consequences of spending money we don’t have, then I’ll do it.”

Plus, Congressman Brooks has a slightly different view of the consequences of hitting the debt ceiling.

“There is no circumstance in which America would default on its loans unless that’s what the President wants to do to punish the American people under the circumstances that we’re in.  We have roughly $2.5 trillion in revenue per year, and interest on our debt is in the neighborhood of a quarter of a trillion dollars.”

But at the same time, the congressman continues to warn of the dangers of the government’s mounting debt, claiming we could hit outright bankruptcy soon.

“It would be this decade.  If we continue borrowing money at a rate of a trillion dollars a year, then we will probably see an insolvency and bankruptcy within this decade,” Rep. Brooks said.

He does add, “Don’t get me wrong.  I believe we’re in a circumstance where we have to raise the debt ceiling, but at the same time, we have to be good stewards of taxpayers money and demand — demand — that there be a concurrent decrease in our spending so that we’re on a path to solvency as opposed to a path of bankruptcy and insolvency.”

For now, no signs of agreement on opening up the government, and it seems the debt ceiling debate could follow a similar path.