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Senator Toomey: Democrats ‘Don’t Need A Single Republican Vote’ To Pass Their $3.5 Trillion Bill

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UNITED STATES - AUGUST 9: Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., conducts a news conference on a bipartisan agreement to fix the digital asset reporting requirements in the infrastructure bill, in the U.S. Capitol on Monday, August 9, 2021. Sen. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., also attended.
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Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” on Sunday that Republicans will not be voting for Democrats’ $3.5 trillion social spending bill and that Democrats do not need Republicans to be able to pass the bill.

“I will certainly be voting no if the Democrats insist on combining the debt ceiling increase or suspension with the continuing operations of the government,” Toomey said. “And there is no calamity that’s going to happen, Jake. If that were even a serious risk, don’t you think the equity markets from last week, rather than fully recovering after the scare that came out of Evergrande in China, rather than fully recovering, as they did, maybe they would have traded off? I think that’s because the millions of investors across America know that no such calamity is going to occur.”

“Why?” Tapper asked.

“What’s going to happen is, after Republicans vote no, Chuck Schumer is going to do what he could have done months ago, what he could have done weeks ago, what he could do tomorrow, and that is, he will amend the budget resolution so that Democrats can pass the debt ceiling all by themselves,” Toomey said. “And that’s what should happen. And here’s why, Jake. They are in the midst of an absolutely unprecedented, very damaging spending spree on a scale that we have never seen. And they want us to come along and authorize the borrowing to help pay for it, when we are totally opposed to what they’re doing.”

“They don’t need a single Republican vote. Republicans can’t stop it,” Toomey continued. “It’s not subject to a filibuster. And if they want to do this, they can go ahead and bring the attention of the American people to the increase in debt that we’re going to need to pay for this spending spree.”

WATCH:

TRANSCRIPT:

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: So, the Senate is going to vote tomorrow to fund the government and to suspend the U.S.’ borrowing limit. To be clear, are you committed to voting no, even if that means risking a government shutdown and the U.S. defaulting on its debts in the middle of a tough economic time already?

SEN. PAT TOOMEY (R-PA): So, I will certainly be voting no if the Democrats insist on combining the debt ceiling increase or suspension with the continuing operations of the government.

And there is no calamity that’s going to happen, Jake. If that were even a serious risk, don’t you think the equity markets from last week, rather than fully recovering after the scare that came out of Evergrande in China, rather than fully recovering, as they did, maybe they would have traded off?

I think that’s because the millions of investors across America know that no such calamity is going to occur.

TAPPER: Why?

TOOMEY: What’s going to happen is, after Republicans vote no, Chuck Schumer is going to do what he could have done months ago, what he could have done weeks ago, what he could do tomorrow, and that is, he will amend the budget resolution so that Democrats can pass the debt ceiling all by themselves.

And that’s what should happen. And here’s why, Jake. They are in the midst of an absolutely unprecedented, very damaging spending spree on a scale that we have never seen. And they want us to come along and authorize the borrowing to help pay for it, when we are totally opposed to what they’re doing.

They don’t need a single Republican vote. Republicans can’t stop it. It’s not subject to a filibuster. And if they want to do this, they can go ahead and bring the attention of the American people to the increase in debt that we’re going to need to pay for this spending spree.

TAPPER: Right. So…

TOOMEY: That’s the reality. That’s the way it’s going to happen.

TAPPER: So, you know as well as I do, probably better than I do, that the debt limit, raising the debt ceiling, does not apply to the future expenses you’re talking about. It’s about paying for spending…

TOOMEY: Jake, can I cut you — Jake, no, I’m going to cut you off right — that is totally factually false.

TAPPER: It’s false?

TOOMEY: It’s factually false. There — absolutely. There’s all kinds of spending that is yet to be approved, including the huge $5 trillion bill that you were discussing with several guests earlier on the show.

TAPPER: Yes, of course.

TOOMEY: The annual appropriation bill every year.

TAPPER: But raising the debt ceiling…

TOOMEY: None of that has happened yet.

TAPPER: But it’s about the spending the Congress has already approved. That’s why we’re hitting the ceiling, because that spending is happening.

(CROSSTALK)

TOOMEY: No, Jake, I have just walked you through spending that has not yet occurred, but our Democrat colleagues want to engage in. They are going to dramatically increase the amount of money that will need to be borrowed because they want to engage in all this borrowing. And they want the authority to borrow it now.

TAPPER: So, but, senator, even if the…

TOOMEY: I don’t agree with that spending.

TAPPER: Okay. Even if the $3.5 trillion spending package that’s being discussed, the budget reconciliation and the infrastructure, the bipartisan infrastructure bill, even if those were tabled in perpetuity, would Congress have to raise the debt ceiling or not?

TOOMEY: At some point, we would.

TAPPER: Okay. And that’s my point.

TOOMEY: And by a smaller amount.

TAPPER: But…

TOOMEY: So, that matters. The timing of this is coming much more quickly. And the scale is much greater than it would otherwise be.

TAPPER: Right. Next month, it would happen, instead of next week. But that’s my point, is that this is already about spending that already occurred, including $8 trillion of debt under the Trump administration.

TOOMEY: No. No, the way I think about is, it is certainly not. The spending that’s already occurred, the money was raised for it, either through taxes or through debt. This is about future spending, some of which we have already committed to in the form of the big entitlement programs that are in — on autopilot, much of which has not been committed to, such as the new entitlement programs that our Democratic colleagues want to launch.

But it is indisputable that this spending spree — if you spend more, you will have to borrow more. And the Democrats want to spend vastly more. So they are driving up the need for…

TAPPER: Right.

TOOMEY: … still more debt in the future to cover all of the spending they want to engage in.

TAPPER: Sure, I get that. But, for instance, the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation act, Build Back Better, the Democrats — and I know you oppose this, but the Democrats are proposing tax increases to pay for it.

TOOMEY: Right.

TAPPER: When it came to, for example, the Trump tax cuts, that was about $6 trillion. Most of it was paid for one way or another, but not $2 trillion of it. That was not paid for in any way. You supported that. And that created the debt as well.

TOOMEY: Well, yes, Jake, it also created the strongest economy of my lifetime. That’s just an indisputable fact. Strong economic growth in 2019, record low unemployment rates in 2019, all-time record low for many subsets of Americans, including African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and wage growth that was accelerating fastest for low-income workers, without — just happening organically because of the strong economic growth. That kind of economic growth generates more tax revenue. We were seeing the complete success of the tax reform. It’s indisputable that we had the best economy of my lifetime. And now the Democrats want to undo the very tax regime that helped enable that tremendous economic growth, a very bad idea.

TAPPER: Let me just ask you. Technically, a government shutdown could have a severe impact on the efforts to combat the pandemic. Parts of the CDC, parts of the NIH could be forced to close temporarily if that funding were to expire.

If Democrats were to bring up a clean government funding bill, separate from the debt ceiling debate, because you said you objected to the idea that they were being pushed together, would you vote for that government funding bill?

TOOMEY: I might very well. In fact, I think Republicans will offer a clean continuing resolution that funds the government.

I have discovered in this place what is described as a clean bill seldom is actually a clean bill. But the gist of your argument, the gist of your question about whether Republicans would support a clean continuation of funding, the answer is, there would be a lot of Republican votes for that.

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