Bachmann: Obama's Default Warning 'Simply Not True'

By Patrick Ryan | July 13, 2011 | 4:42 PM EDT

Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., waves to supporters before making her formal announcement to seek the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, Monday, June 27, 2011, in Waterloo, Iowa.  (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

( - Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Steve King (R-Iowa) and Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) said Wednesday that President Barack Obama has been misleading the American people by saying that the United States would default if Congress does not vote to raise the debt ceiling by Aug. 2.

“This is a misnomer that I believe that the president and the treasury secretary have been trying to pass off on the American people, and it’s this: That if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling by $2.5 trillion, that somehow the United States will go into default and we will lose the full faith and credit of the United States. That is simply not true,” Bachmann said at a news conference to introduce the PROMISES Act--a piece of legislation that would set spending priorities if Congress does not vote for a hike in the debt ceiling.

PROMISES stands for “Payment Reliability for Our Obligations to Military and Investors to Secure Essential Stability.”

The bill sets payments to the armed services as the first priority in case the debt ceiling is reached, and servicing the interest on the national debt as the second.

Specifically, in the case the Congress does not increase the debt ceiling, the bill makes “pay and allowances (without interruption) to members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, including reserve components thereof, who perform active service.” It also allocates revenues for the Treasury Secretary to pay down national debt interest.

Rep. Steve King (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)

Gohmert, a former judge in Texas, stopped short of saying the president was lying about the impact of not increasing the debt limit.

We know from the House rules that the president never lies, but he is taking advice and information from somebody apparently who is willing to lie, because it’s just not true,” Gohmert said. “The fear mongering needs to stop.”

King said the PROMISES Act deliberately conjoins the national debt issue with payment to military families.

“It’s my belief that if we put these two issues together, and we get them to the president’s desk for a signature,” King said, “and I can’t imagine what his argument would be against paying our military and keeping our credit rating up. But if we do that, and that turns into law, then its easier for us to sit down and negotiate what we might do, without the threat of no military pay, without the threat of watching our credit go down.” 

The act supplements the Full Faith and Credit Act, sponsored by Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.), which requires that all “debt held by the public shall take priority over all other obligations incurred by the Government of the United States.”