Michigan's Rep. Sander Levin, top Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, says slow-walking the debt ceiling would also undermine prospects for immigration overhaul and tax reform.
Michael Bonfigli/The Christian Science Monitor
The lingering impasse from December’s "fiscal cliff" threatens to swamp Democrats' efforts to achieve priorities such as broad changes to gun regulations and a drive for comprehensive immigration reform. But if the fights over the debt ceiling and the budget-cutting sequester stretch well into 2013, tax and entitlement reform could also be at risk, the top Democrat on the House tax-writing committee said Tuesday.
Rep. Sander Levin (D) of Michigan told reporters at a breakfast sponsored by The Christian Science Monitor that Congress needs to “extend, if not end” the debt ceiling for a “considerable period of time” and replace the sequester – some $1.2 trillion in spending cuts over the next decade – with a mix of higher taxes and lower government spending.
Congress has roughly six weeks before those issues – and the need to extend funding for government operations – come to a head.