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Durbin hits GOP for debt limit 'brinkmanship,' while refusing to accept short-term deal

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Durbin hits GOP for debt limit 'brinkmanship,' while refusing to accept short-term deal

Durbin announced federal funding for transit projects Monday on Chicago’s North Side.

WBEZ/Sam Hudzik

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin says House Republicans are pushing the country to the brink of an economic disaster. But with a debt limit deadline just over a week away, the Illinois Democrat himself opposes a plan that could temporarily avert default.

Durbin Monday talked of the dire consequences to interest rates, if no debt limit deal is reached.

“It is a decision by the Republicans to push us to absolute brinkmanship here and to risk this economy and the jobs that’re associated with it,” Durbin said at an unrelated press conference in Chicago.

Durbin said he wants a compromise. But he flatly dismissed Republican House Speaker John Boehner’s proposal to boost the debt limit in multiple steps, as budget cutting takes place.

“This is exactly the wrong time to do this, with economies failing all around Europe, with our own economy under attack by those giving credit reports, we should not be lurching from one political and economic crisis to another,” Durbin said.

Durbin said he has been in contact with Democratic leader Harry Reid, who’s pushing a budget-cutting plan that’d extend the debt limit through 2012 - past next year’s election.

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