The decade's most triggering comedy
As a deal hashed out between President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to avoid a U.S. debt default makes its way through Congress, several Republican senators have already come out against the bill, saying that it does not go far enough to cut spending.
Those opposed to the deal, known as the Fiscal Responsibility Act, include Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), while others have expressed concerns about the bill in its current form.
“I think the Biden-McCarthy debt deal is a disaster for the country. It does not significantly change the trajectory of the debt. Each year we’ll spend more money and the debt will grow $4 trillion in two years. It’s not very conservative,” Paul told reporters this week.
Paul added that he planned on introducing a “conservative alternative” to the deal, which would implement a $500 billion hike on the debt ceiling to allow Congress more time to negotiate, put caps on total spending, and mandate that increases in federal outlays cannot exceed increases in federal revenue.
Lee previously promised to use any procedural tool necessary to “impede” a debt ceiling deal that he believed did not cut spending enough, and he has voiced opposition to the agreement as it currently stands.
“I believe McCarthy was misled, not malicious in signing onto this deal. But the deal simply does not do what its proponents claim it does — not even close. It’s time to go back to the drawing board or, even better, go back to what the House already passed,” Lee said.
Cruz referred to the deal as a “blank check” for Biden, saying that it gave Democrats “$4 trillion things” that they wanted. Hawley told the Kansas City Star that he opposed the deal because it didn’t address America’s trade deficit with China.
“I think until we get serious about that, we can talk about fiddling with this or that set of numbers but until we get serious about really correcting that imbalance and bringing back jobs and industry, we’re not going to make the change that we need to see,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ohio Republican Senator J.D. Vance said he was a “firm no” to the proposal in its current form, and South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham expressed concern over spending cuts in the deal.
The McCarthy-Biden agreement advanced past the House Rules Committee in a 7-6 vote on Tuesday afternoon, with key conservatives Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) and Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC) voting against and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) voting in favor.
House leadership has expressed confidence that they will have enough votes to get the deal through the lower chamber though it will face opposition from members of the House Freedom Caucus, meaning it will likely require Democrat votes to pass.
McCarthy has acknowledged the bill’s detractors but said it was the best they could do with a Democrat-controlled Senate and presidency.
“Maybe it doesn’t do everything for everyone, but this is a step in the right direction that no one thought that we would be able to today,” McCarthy said. “I’ll debate this bill with anybody. Is it everything I wanted? No, because we don’t control all of it. But it is the biggest rescission in history. It is the biggest cut Congress has ever voted for in that process.”