After appearing on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday and MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Monday, Senator Chris Coons (D-Delaware) paid a visit to WHYY’s Radio Times on Tuesday to continue his media tour during the Senate’s spring break.
Delaware’s junior U.S. Senator spent the hour with host Marty Moss-Coane talking about the federal budget, the economy, life in the Senate, and of course, his campaign against Tea Party favorite Christine O’Donnell.
As far as his impressions of how the Senate does business, Coons says, “I got there during the end of the last Congress, the so-called lame duck session, when the use or abuse of the filibuster was in full throttle, and virtually nothing was getting done.” He says that was his “introduction to just how dysfunctional at times the body as a whole can be.” Coons adds that as he’s been able to get to know individual Senators on both sides of the aisle, he’s found that his fellow lawmakers are “a more impressive group individually than you might think watching from a distance, because frankly as a group the partisanship is very sharp, and sometimes we engage in food fights worthy of the movie “Animal House” rather than the sort of deliberate, thoughtful reflection on important issues.”
When asked if the nation could afford to raise the debt ceiling by $2 trillion as proposed by the Obama Administration, Coons replied, “Sadly, the reality is, we can’t afford not to.” He says every budget plan out there assumes an increase in national debt by trillions. “Every one of these plans, from right to left, deals with short-term deficits.” He says, “Raising the debt ceiling does not mean giving a blank check to the administration to accelerate spending. It means meeting our current obligations. It’s how we pay for things that the Congress already authorized and appropriated.”
To get his Delaware constituents and other Americans back to work, Coons says, “We have to continue to invest in education, in our infrastructure. We have to fight for the intellectual property for the inventions made by Americans. We have to provide tax incentives that encourage companies to grow their employment here in the United States rather than sending those jobs overseas.”
While he is getting a break from taking the train back and forth to D.C. everyday, Coons jokes that calling this Senate break ‘recess’ is not a great choice of words. “My daughter Maggie is fond of saying that my recess is very different than her recess, not so much jungle gym and going down the slides, but much more visiting manufacturing plants.”
You can here the interview in it’s entirety on the Radio Times website.