Club for Growth president: Government shutdown may be better than alternative

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Top Line

It's been a tumultuous New Year for Speaker of the House John Boehner, and Chris Chocola hasn't been making it any easier. As president of the conservative group Club for Growth, Chocola works to elect anti-establishment Republicans to Congress, such as freshman Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., who recently voted against Hurricane Sandy aid because it would raise the national debt.

Chocola, a former congressman from Indiana, says it is his job to make things difficult for the country's policy makers at a time when the country is $16 trillion in debt.

"Dysfunction is not new in Washington," Chocola told Top Line. "So if people like Tom Cotton and others can show up and make life uncomfortable for the folks that have put us in that position, then we think we're doing our job."

The Club for Growth, which supports lower taxes and limited government, opposed to the recent fiscal cliff deal. And as Congress quickly approaches another deadline to raise the debt ceiling, Chocola says its members should stand ready to allow the government to shut down if they can't reach a satisfactory deal.

"The pain of a temporary shutdown the next few months pales in comparison to the pain of financial disaster of turning into Greece," Chocola says. "We are on the road to Greece, there's no question about that."

Chocola says he's not concerned about the country defaulting on its debt if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling. He says there would be enough revenue to cover the interest, and it would force Congress to cut back on spending.

To hear more about what Chocola's views on the upcoming debt ceiling deadline, check out this week's Top Line.