WASHINGTON — "Fiscal terrorism."
That's how Sen. Mark Warner (D-Virginia) describes House Republicans' efforts to hold the U.S. debt ceiling hostage in order to get desired budget cuts.
In a conference call Thursday with reporters, Warner called the GOP strategy, "the height of irresponsibility."
Warner said if the United States did go into default on its debts, it would create "carnage" in the stock market.
"The notion that we would put the full faith and credit of the United States in jeopardy at this moment of economic uncertainty, with the rise of China and the challenge of the Russia-Ukraine war, is beyond the pale. It's just plain crazy," he said.
Currently, Congress has until June 5 to extend the $31.4 trillion dollar debt ceiling.
Old Dominion University economist Bob McNab said this week that Congressional inaction on the debt ceiling "would spark a global financial crisis worse than the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009."
Warner also spoke about a Republican-led initiative to restore to active duty the 8,400 military members who refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine. That mandate was recently lifted.
This week, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and 18 other Senate Republicans filed a bill to give those troops their jobs back, and, to pay them for any salary they lost.
Warner said he's against the idea.
"Do I think Senator Cruz's bill is a good one? Absolutely not," he said. "I think it would reduce respect for discipline. I think it undermines the chain of command."
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin had insisted that the vaccine mandate was a lawful order.
About 3,500 of the troops who got kicked out are suing the Defense Department, claiming religious discrimination.