Sanders opposes scrapping debt ceiling, says GOP has no economic plan beyond criticism
Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders said Sunday he opposes eliminating the debt ceiling, the federal government’s financial limit that could produce violent clashes if the GOP wins back one or more both houses of Congress in November’s midterm elections.
“You need to raise the debt ceiling,” Sanders, I-Vt., said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“But are you keeping it? anchor Jake Tapper asked him. “Yeah, yeah,” Sanders said.
The remarks come as Republicans predict they will use the debt ceiling negotiations to wrest concessions from Democrats to cut spending — a repeat of the battles of the past decade beginning with congressional Republicans and the president. Barak Obama.
Kevin McCarthy, the current House GOP leader who would likely become president if the party regains the chamber, has argued for using the debt ceiling to gain influence over Joe Biden’s administration and Democratic lawmakers, some House Republicans rallying to his side.
“I support this strategy because ultimately when COVID-19 happened, the federal government and state governments literally shut down businesses. Businesses had to make tough decisions about how they were going to keep their doors open. The federal government has continued to receive record revenues year after year and has not had to make these tough decisions,” Rep. Nancy Mace, RS.C., said Sunday on CNN.
Democrats, meanwhile, accuse Republicans of potentially holding the debt ceiling hostage to win their spending cuts. Confiscating the nation’s debts, they say, would amount to an economic calamity given that the government is already legally obligated to pay spending authorized by Congress – and therefore the debt ceiling would have to rise as those expenditures rise. are adopted.
President Biden and other members of the Democratic caucus have drawn red lines surrounding what they expect to be Republican offers to cut Social Security and Medicare in exchange for GOP votes to raise the cap debt.
“What Republicans are basically doing – and I hope everyone understands this – they’re saying, ‘Look, we’re willing to let the United States default on its debt, not raise the debt ceiling, to unless you’re talking about making cuts,'” Sanders said on CNN.
But he, like Biden, disagrees with calls to scrap the debt ceiling. Last week, the president called such a decision “irresponsible”.
Sanders used that word to criticize conservatives.
“You know what they’re talking about? Cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Is that irresponsible? It’s absolutely irresponsible,” he said on CNN. “You don’t use the debt ceiling to do that.”
He also argued that the party that hammered Democrats on inflation and the economy — as polls show voters trust the GOP more on both issues — has no real economic plan of its own.
“What do they want to do, except complain? he said.
McCarthy, the House Minority Leader, touted a “Commitment to America,” including strengthening the economy. The platform, however, is light on details.