Richard Shelby: U.S. becoming Europe

by KATIE GLUECK , Politico.com  |  published on January 3, 2013

Richard Shelby

Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby said Wednesday that the United States is “headed down the road that Europe’s already on.”

“We’re always wanting to spend and promise and spend and borrow, but not cut,” the Republican lawmaker said on Fox News’s “Fox & Friends.” “We’ve got to get real about this. We’re headed down the road that Europe’s already on.”

Shelby was one of eight members — who hailed from both sides of the aisle — to oppose the Senate’s fiscal cliff offer earlier this week. He slammed the final deal for not tackling issues like entitlement reform. The agreement extended Bush-era tax cuts for families making under $450,000 a year and warded off sequestration for another two months but did not take serious action on the debt or entitlements.

“I [would have liked] to see a grand bargain,” he said. “And I believe you never know — if we would have held out, maybe it would have done something. The pressure was building on the president to do something. He certainly doesn’t want us to go into recession. But we need fundamental tax reform. We need to reform our entitlements. We need to look at the spending ledger.”

The senator also had tough words for the 85 Republicans in the House of Representatives that backed the final deal.

“I think it was a mistake that they did it,” he said. He added that while he was proud of those in the GOP who “understood what this was, they had a chance to reflect on it … the ones that voted for it, I think they will rue the day.”

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