91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.3 Port Huron 89.7 Lansing 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

As the debt ceiling deadline looms, Michigan's budget director says he's 'nervous'

U.S. Congress
The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, or "Super Committee," failed to come up with a compromise to reduce the deficit. Michigan members of the Super Committee spoke about the experience.

In today's top story in the New York Times, "officials from several states" described potential consequences should our representatives in Congress fail to meet Thursday's debt ceiling deadline.

Michigan's budget director says the state is preparing for the unknown.

“This has us pretty nervous; it’s just a mess,” said John E. Nixon, the budget director for the State of Michigan. “We are taking it very seriously, and we have our agencies preparing contingency plans. But obviously nobody really knows how it’s going to unfold, so you can only plan so much.”

With the shutdown continuing, the state of Michigan is preparing to lay off thousands of public employees, as MPRN's Jake Neher reported. One officials said "15,000 to 20,000 state workers would probably be affected."

Leaders in the U.S. Senate are trying to hammer out a deal.

If one is reached, it's anyone's guess what the U.S. House of Representatives will do with it.

The name-calling hasn't simmered down. Here's what one Republican in the House said of the bi-partisan group of Senators trying to reach a deal:

“We’ve got a name for it in the House: it’s called the Senate surrender caucus,” said Representative Tim Huelskamp, Republican of Kansas.

Huelskamp echoed a common fear of some Republicans in the House - that if they don't hold the Tea-Party line, they'll be voted out of office.

What do our 16 representatives in Congress think of the Oct. 17th deadline?

All who responded to our query said it was important. Others didn't respond at all.

Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI, 3rd District) was quoted as saying missing the Thursday deadline won't mean default:

"There’s no way to default on Oct. 17. We will have enough money to make interest payments."

But the mere fact that Congress is once again toying with the debt ceiling can lead to spooked investors.

The U.S. once had a "triple A" S&P credit rating. That was downgraded right after the last high-stakes-debt-ceiling debate.

Mark Brush was Michigan Radio’s Digital Media Director. He succumbed to a year-long battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, in March 2018. He was 49 years old.