09 02 2014
  12:12 pm  
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(CNN) -- Sen. Chuck Schumer Monday called on House Republicans to pass a "clean" increase to the government's debt ceiling, a day after House Speaker John Boehner said a clean increase just wasn't going to happen.

Schumer was on CNN's "New Day" warning against the dangers of Congress failing to increase the nation's $16.7 trillion limit on how much money can be borrowed. How dangerous is it? "The economy could collapse," Schumer told CNN's Chris Cuomo. "Will it? No one is certain."

Tea party momentum keeping Boehner from allowing a "clean" vote on the debt limit increase will wane as the country approaches the Oct. 17 deadline, said the longtime Democratic senator from New York. But compromise, on the federal budget, on Obamacare and other Republican priorities, he said, can only come after the debt limit is increased and the government is funded.

"You cannot negotiate under these situations because it gets worse," said Schumer, the third ranking Democrat in the Senate.

When asked about the Democrats' role in seeking compromise, Schumer was adamant that the majority party in the Senate is not enjoying the partial government shutdown.

"It's painful to all of us," he said.

The partial shutdown has long been planned by tea party Republicans, Schumer charged. He argued that Boehner, R-Ohio, has already gotten the government funding level he wanted and is holding up a vote on a "clean" funding bill for which Schumer believes there are dozens of Republican votes in the House of Representatives, enough votes to make a majority when combined with House Democrats.

"The real reason he doesn't is it would enrage the tea party," Schumer said of Boehner's refusal to allow a vote.

--CNN's Bryan Koenig contributed to this report.

™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

 

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