Sen. Tom Coburn says the US won't default on its debt if the debt ceiling isn't raised, because ... the debt ceiling doesn't exist. On CBS This Morning, the Oklahoma Republican dismissed the default as a "rumor" perpetrated by the media:
- "The debt ceiling and the (continuing resolution) are the same thing. There is no such thing as a debt ceiling in this country because it's never been not increased, and that's why we're $17 trillion in debt and I would dispel the rumor that is going around that you hear on every newscast that we'll default. We won't. We'll continue to pay our interest and continue to redeem bonds and we'll issue new bonds to replace those. So it's not entirely accurate. What we need to do is have a discussion."
The Obama administration quickly took issue with Coburn, with the White House press secretary saying the even if the Treasury met its debt payments for now, it would have to stop paying for something else. "Prioritization is default by another name," he said, per the Hill. "If you pay some of your bills and not all of your bills, you're in default on the bills that didn't pay." (Read more Tom Coburn stories.)