Skip to comments.
Here We Go Again ... With a Debt Ceiling Battle Looming, It Looks Like Speaker Kevin McCarthy Is on His Own
Red State ^
| Joe Cunningham
Posted on 01/24/2023 7:34:39 PM PST by SeekAndFind
The sky seems to be perpetually falling if you ask Democrats, journalists, and even some Republicans, and the current fiscal fight in the House seems to be no exception.
Joe Biden and the Democrats are adamant that a clean debt ceiling increase has to happen or else the consequences will be dire. Mitch McConnell, the GOP leader in the Senate, is only telling reporters “We will not default.” But in the House, Republicans are poised to force a lengthy battle over the debt ceiling and potential cuts to the federal budget.
That puts House Speaker Kevin McCarthy somewhere he may not be comfortable being: In the driver’s seat of a prolonged ideological battle.
And he’s having to go it alone, it seems, as the Senator GOP appears more than willing to let the House take up this fight on its own. That puts the conservatives who drew major concessions from McCarthy in the driver’s seat, putting a lot of options for cuts on the table, but also potentially exposing which House Republicans are not so willing to go along with cuts – and which of those McCarthy still has sway over.
POLITICO has a piece this morning highlighting McCarthy’s struggle.
With the government funded until the end of September, many Republicans believe it’s McCarthy’s turn to make the tough calls during the new era of split government. Take Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who’s about as amenable to lifting the debt ceiling as any Republican you’ll find in the Capitol.
At the moment, she said, her “preference would be for the president to sit down with Speaker McCarthy, listen to one another and work out an agreement.” She said she did not know whether a so-called clean debt ceiling increase could even pass the Senate.
McCarthy’s challenge isn’t just to pass a bill lifting the debt ceiling, it’s to assuage his conservatives who are eager for draconian fiscal cuts in return — while eventually reaching an agreement with some House Democratic support to show momentum in the Senate. Those competing agendas could be difficult, if not impossible, to reconcile by the time the Treasury Department is finished using what are known as extraordinary measures to maximize the country’s remaining borrowing authority.
This fight – which looks like it could go on for weeks, or even months – is McCarthy’s first test as Speaker and a major one at that. The fiscal health of the United States is at risk, and no matter which choice he makes, he’ll be attacked for it.
Democrats are pushing for a clean debt ceiling increase, and conservatives want cuts that POLITICO refers to as “draconian” (which, incidentally, proves they don’t actually understand what that word means). More moderate Republicans are open to a more balanced approach, with some cuts but also a debt ceiling increase.
So, what’s on the table for cuts? According to the Washington Post, quite a bit.
So far, the party has focused its attention on slimming down federal health care, education, science and labor programs, perhaps by billions of dollars. But some Republicans also have pitched a deeper examination of entitlements, which account for much of the government’s annual spending — and reflect some of the greatest looming fiscal challenges facing the United States.
In recent days, a group of GOP lawmakers has called for the creation of special panels that might recommend changes to Social Security and Medicare, which face genuine solvency issues that could result in benefit cuts within the next decade. Others in the party have resurfaced more detailed plans to cut costs, including by raising the Social Security retirement age to 70, targeting younger Americans who have yet to obtain federal benefits.
But it’s pretty clear that Democrats will be outright opposed to any entitlement reform, and even some Republicans will be hesitant. Conservatives may have forced McCarthy to give it to their demands, but they are still vastly outnumbered in the House, much less the full Congress. It will be up to McCarthy to take those conservative demands and then negotiate with the Democrats – and even President Biden himself – in a way that makes as many people begrudgingly amenable to any changes that may come.
Because it’s not just the fiscal health of the nation at risk. How McCarthy chooses to go about this could also affect his Speakership going forward.
TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; Politics; Society
KEYWORDS: congress; debtceiling; kevinmccarthy; spending
“That puts House Speaker Kevin McCarthy somewhere he may not be comfortable being:”
He demanded the support, let’s now see what he’s made of.
I think I already know. There will be a discussion regarding concession, followed by a pretense of concession, followed by a gop surrender AGAIN!
No problem. I'm sure Ukraine will be happy to give the money back.
posted on 01/24/2023 7:50:26 PM PST
by Governor Dinwiddie
(LORD, grant thy people grace to withstand the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil.)
Stop sending money to Ukraine.
He better make some demands and hold fast!
posted on 01/24/2023 8:34:23 PM PST
To: patriot torch
After the 14 rejections, his only political salvation is to act like a man with integrity.
posted on 01/24/2023 8:40:59 PM PST
by Gene Eric
(Don't be a statist!)
How about a plan actually reducing debt?
I’d settle for a balanced budget at this point. Budget surplus/debt reduction might be too big an ask this year...sad that it has gotten this bad! Even PDJT didn’t propose a balanced budget in 4 years...double sad.
posted on 01/25/2023 2:09:51 AM PST
The way to avoid a shutdown is to require Congress not get paid if it does shutdown.
posted on 01/25/2023 2:45:17 AM PST
(Turn to the Lord Jesus as a damned+destitute sinner, trust Him who saves, be baptized + follow Him!)
Frankly I don’t see how you swallow multi trillions in debt. Reduce the size of government would a start tho.
Freeze the budget until revenue matches expenses - however long that may take. No one can belly ache about losing money, they can belly ache about not getting more all they want.
posted on 01/25/2023 6:15:19 AM PST
Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual
posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its
management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the
exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson