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Arizona congressman: Debt ceiling extension may come next week

PHOENIX — Arizona Republican Congressman David Schweikert believes there will be a deal in place to extend the debt ceiling by late next week.

“We will have an extension on the debt ceiling and the mechanics probably done and passed on funding the government and an agreement on how we’re going to deal with our appropriations bills for the rest of the year,” he said. “Everyone is now trying to be as polite as possible and inch toward negotiation.”

That being said, Schweikert is among the Republicans who believe President Barack Obama needlessly made the shutdown as painful as possible.

“You have to realize how far this White House has been willing to go in making their argument and as painfully as possible,” he said. “Look what they did to veterans. This will become an item for investigation over the next couple of months on what laws were broken and why the White House felt they needed to punish the American people.”

Arizona Republican Congressman Matt Salmon agrees with Schweikert that the Obama administration wanted to inflict as much pain as possible. Salmon pointed to vantage points at the Grand Canyon and Lake Powell being off-limits to visitors as an example. Many of them are international visitors who may never get the chance to see the canyon again.

“They wanted to extract their pound of flesh,” he said. “It seems this administration is biting off its nose to spite its face. It’s very critical to get the Grand Canyon reopened. We’ve provided many opportunities for the canyon to be reopened and the president has stood in the way of every proposal.”

President Barack Obama met with top leaders from both the House and Senate Friday to discuss the debt ceiling and government shutdown.