published Monday, October 7th, 2013

Georgia U.S. Rep. Tom Graves says GOP still united in budget standoff

A House proposal to provide money to keep the federal government operating but defund Obamacare originated with U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, left. The result has been a rising national profile for the Georgia Republican. Here, Graves, left, stands with House Speaker John Boehner and others in Washington.
A House proposal to provide money to keep the federal government operating but defund Obamacare originated with U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, left. The result has been a rising national profile for the Georgia Republican. Here, Graves, left, stands with House Speaker John Boehner and others in Washington.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Georgia Congressman Tom Graves on Sunday contradicted national media reports that tea party unity may be fracturing over the budget standoff.

Bloomberg News reported that Republican Reps. Blake Farenthold of Texas, Doug Lamborn of Colorado and Dennis Ross of Florida, all of whom identify with the tea party, said they'd back an agreement to end the government shutdown and lift the debt ceiling if it included major revisions to U.S. tax law, significant changes to Medicare and Social Security, and other policy shifts.

But Graves, who represents North Georgia, said on "Fox News Sunday" that House Republicans are united behind passing a fair government funding bill as they wait for President Obama and Sen. Harry Reid to agree to negotiate.

"There may be disagreements on strategy or tactics, but we are fully united behind opening the government up as quickly as we can as well as providing fairness to all of America as it relates to Obamacare," Graves said, according to a news release from his office.

Host Chris Wallace asked if Graves could accept a deal to reopen the government with other concessions than Obamacare.

Graves said he's "open to a lot of different ideas" on tax reform, the debt limit, government funding and health reform.

"But, in order to do that, Harry Reid has to send some Democrats to meet with us," he said.

And to Wallace's question whether he would refuse to raise the debt limit "unless you get what you want on Obamacare," Graves said: "There is no reason to default. In fact, Republicans don't want to default. ... the president is the only one demanding default right now."

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