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Tea Party Congressman Warns of Government Shutdown Without Big Cuts

By Lucas Tomlinson

An outspoken Tea Party congressman and deficit hawk says that a government shutdown may be necessary if President Obama and his fellow Democrats won't go beyond the "dollar for dollar" cuts that were part of the last agreement to raise the federal debt limit.

"If that is what it takes to prevent this generational theft, we'll see, but I hope that is not the outcome," said Rep. Scott DesJarlais, a Tennessee Republican. "For a president that said he would cut the deficit in half or be a one term president and now has added $4 trillion and rising, we have to do something to wake people up," warned DesJarlais.

Appearing on "Power Play with Chris Stirewalt," DesJarlais said he would like to see stronger measures taken to reduce spending-measures that go beyond House Speaker John Boehner's plan to link spending cuts with a debt ceiling raise. According to the Treasury Department, the debt ceiling was reached on Monday, New Year's Eve, when the U.S. government's debt obligations reached $16.394 trillion.

"[The Boehner Rule] keeps us at an even keel, but Congress tends to overspend what it projects," said an incredulous DesJarlais.

"We need to see a plan from the president and the Senate," DesJarlais added. "We have put forth plans in the House to balance the budget. The President fulfilled a campaign promise to raise taxes, but he also promised a balanced approach, so we at least need that from him."

"We are going to have to fight much harder than we have in the past two years," warned DesJarlais

Rep. DesJarlais did not waste any time demonstrating his continued assault on what he perceived as more wasteful government spending by adding his name in opposition to the $9.7 billion Hurricane Sandy relief bill, one of 67 to do so in the first full day of the 113th Congress.