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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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October 7th, 2013
05:53 PM ET

House GOP won't default, or 'don't want' to?

Congress has just ten days to raise the nation's $16.7 trillion debt ceiling, at which point the government would run out of cash to pay its bills.

"This is one of those moments in our history that every time we come up against a large increase in the debt ceiling we should talk about how do we stop doing this. What do we have to do to get us back in balance," Republican Congressman James Lankford said in an interview on "The Lead with Jake Tapper"

But it is the threat of default that alarms so many people, and makes it appear as though House Republicans are threatening the stability of the global economy

"We don't want default," said Lankford.

But "don't want default" is very different from "won't default."

"We don't want any kind of default," Lankford repeated. "We don't want to get to that spot. If we have to get to a spot and say 'Let's do it short term,' then we have to sit down and do a short term."

House Republicans currently hold a 17-seat majority in Congress. The position they take on the debt ceiling could put the GOP in a worse position, and possibly even lead to Democrats recapturing the House.

Lankford said if lawmakers continued to raise the debt ceiling, they would face voters' frustrations eventually.

"When people say, 'What did you do to defend this?' And if we say well we did nothing, we just continued to raise it year after year, and never tried to stand in the way, never tried to fix it, they would hold us to account then," said Lankford.

For more of our interview with Rep. James Lankford, watch the video above.

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