Posted on

Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer accused House Republicans of taking the nation hostage Tuesday, on the eve of passing legislation to avoid default on the national debt by raising the ceiling.  

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy will hold a vote on his proposal Wednesday, which raises the cap on the national debt by $1.5 trillion for one year in exchange for a host of spending cuts adding up to $4.5 trillion.

“Instead of doing what both sides have done many times before — avoiding default without preconditions — Speaker McCarthy and House Republicans want to force working Americans to accept either a punch to the gut or a blow to the head,” said Mr. Schumer, New York Democrat.

“Either the U.S. defaults on national debt for the first time in American history, or MAGA Republicans get their way and America defaults on everything else — on our future and our security, on our promise to care for veterans and law enforcement and the American middle class.”

Mr. McCarthy is proceeding with a floor vote despite the uncertainty whether he has enough support in his own party to pass the legislation in his own chamber. His hope is that the bill’s passage will force Senate Democrats and the White House to the negotiating table.

However, a failed vote would drastically undercut his leverage as the U.S. careens toward a deadline on the debt ceiling, Democrats demand be raised without stipulations.

Mr. Schumer and President Biden have so far shown no willingness to negotiate.

“Speaker McCarthy rolled out a wish list straight out of the Freedom Caucus playbook,” Mr. Schumer said. “It might as well be called the Default on America Act because that’s exactly what it is: D-O-A.”

Mr. Biden also issued a formal veto threat.

Mr. McCarthy’s bill would return federal spending to 2022 levels and cap future budget growth to 1% annually over the next decade, roll back Democrats’ tax-and-climate-spending law known as the Inflation Reduction Act, claw back unspent COVID-19 money, impose new work requirements for Medicaid and food stamps, and block Mr. Biden’s student loan forgiveness.

The California Republican made the case over the weekend that any GOP lawmaker who votes against the measure would be complicit in “Biden’s reckless spending.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *