The decade's most triggering comedy
Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) announced on Tuesday that she would not vote in favor of the debt ceiling deal between President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), contending that Republicans were hoodwinked and that the agreement would normalize high spending.
The debt ceiling, a statute established by Congress that prevents the government from spending beyond a predetermined national debt limit of $31.4 trillion, exceeded the threshold earlier this year, prompting concerns that the nation will default on loans within the next week. McCarthy and Biden reached a deal which, among other measures, suspends the debt limit until 2025, caps spending growth for the next two years in areas except for defense and veterans, and expands work requirements for food stamps for those between 49 and 54 years old.
Mace, broadly considered a moderate among House Republicans, revealed that she would vote “no” on the bill because “playing the DC game isn’t worth selling out our kids and grandkids.” She also said that Republicans were “outsmarted by a President who can’t find his pants.”
“This ‘deal’ normalizes record high spending started during the pandemic,” she wrote on social media, observing that normative levels of government spending expanded from $4 trillion before the recession to $6 trillion in the years after the crisis. “It sets these historically high spending levels as the baseline for all future spending.”
The lawmaker concluded that the bill, which is named the Fiscal Responsibility Act, would be “a wash spending-wise” since the “small cut” to discretionary spending will be eclipsed by “large increases in spending elsewhere.”
The arrangement would claw back some $30 billion in pandemic relief funds, roughly matching the $41 billion cut from federal spending in the first year of the bill. Mace also noted that only $1.4 billion of the $80 billion of additional funds recently allocated to the IRS would be removed, while the student debt cancellation plan from the Biden administration would remain intact.
“Washington is, was and always will be lousy at responsibly spending your tax dollars,” she added. “That won’t change unless we demand change.”
The national debt now surpasses $31.7 trillion and serves as a continual damper on economic growth, while elevated interest rates have weighed on the budget as lawmakers are forced to devote more revenues toward servicing the debt rather than spending on federal programs. An amendment to the debt limit, which can only occur with endorsement from the House, could induce a recession and lead to a downgrade in the federal government’s credit rating.
Other lawmakers, including Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) and Rep. Cory Mills (R-FL), expressed their concerns about the arrangement in recent days. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), on the other hand, spoke against Biden compromising with Republicans, contending that the move would cause a backlash among the broader public as some elements of his legislative agenda are potentially redacted.
House Republican leaders, meanwhile, celebrated the deal and said it marks a landmark victory for the conference. “The American people elected House Republicans to stop the out-of-control inflationary spending that has broken family budgets,” they said in a statement. “Today, we secured a historic series of wins worthy of the American people.”