Rep. Lance Gooden (R-TX) told Sirius XM’s Breitbart News Saturday that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is in a weak position to cobble together his own debt ceiling plan as moderate Senate Republicans “are very comfortable” backing the House GOP’s conditions around raising the debt ceiling.
House Republicans passed the Limit, Save, Grow Act – estimated to save nearly $5 trillion over the next decade – on Wednesday without any Democrat support. The bill marked a significant development in the debt ceiling standoff between Democrats, who believe the ceiling should be raised without conditions, and Republicans, who want spending cuts in exchange for their help in increasing the limit.
Gooden told Breitbart News Washington Bureau Chief Matthew Boyle that Schumer is in “a bad spot” in putting together his own debt ceiling legislation in the Senate now that the House bill empowers his moderate GOP Senate colleagues.
“Schumer is in a bad spot because, in the past, he has had kind of this RINO contingent of Republicans that will help him get to 60, that magic number that he needs, but now that the House has acted, now that all the moderates in the House have even gotten on board and everyone has voted for this from across all the ideological spectrums of our Republican Party, the Senate Republicans, no matter what group you’re in, are very comfortable agreeing with House Republicans and saying Democrats need to come to the table,” Gooden said. “And Democrats need to make some compromises.”
Gooden went on to emphasize that Republicans are “in a really good spot” in negotiations “because Kevin McCarthy got everybody on the same page once again.”
The achievement was certainly a tall but impressive task for McCarthy, who leads a razor-thin majority and, in February, needed 15 ballots to unify the Republican delegation so he could win the speakership election.
“I’m confident that the American people are going to win on this deal, much more than they would have had we just passed a clean reauthorization, or rather, re-raising the debt limit, which is what they wanted to do. They wanted to just pass it, raise it. Some of the moderate factions of our party were already scheming with the Democrats and saying, ‘Hey, we’re going to just get together with you guys and raise this thing if nothing happens,’ but something happened, and that was a bill passing this week with Republicans, except for four, all on board and it was a big win for the American people.”
Gooden said that the legislation, which has “very meaningful cuts,” pressures Biden to come to the negotiating table with McCarthy after months of refusing to do so.
“What we did this week was we passed a bill that does raise the debt ceiling. However, there are cuts across the board, very meaningful cuts, to lower the deficit in the next ten years,” he said. “To send a message that we’re going to be good managers of the people’s money, we’re calling back unspent COVID funds. Remember, the pandemic was declared over by President Biden, so why would Democrats have a problem with us sending that money back that was not spent? There’s so many sensible changes in this bill that Republicans all got on board with, and now the ball’s in the court of the president.”
“He said for weeks that we were not going to be able to pass anything, so we did, and so he’s going to have to sit down with Kevin McCarthy and actually negotiate,” Gooden added. “Senate Democrats are going to have to pass something or actually negotiate, and just throwing rocks at Republicans is not going to work.”
Boyle noted that he heard rumblings Schumer was working to prevent a meeting between McCarthy and Biden, as he is “terrified” the president would find McCarthy’s conditions reasonable and agree to them. After all, Biden said McCarthy was “reasonable” following their first meeting on the matter in February.
Gooden told Boyle it “wouldn’t surprise” him if Schumer was engaging in such an effort.
As there is no current prospect of another proposal in the works to raise the debt ceiling, Gooden explained that Democrats’ posture would continue to weaken as public opinion turns against them.
“They’re going to get to the point where I don’t believe they’re going to have public opinion on their side,” Gooden said. “Wall Street’s not going to be on their side; they’re going to say, ‘Well, you guys need to just pass this McCarthy plan if you don’t have another plan.’ And so far, they don’t have another plan. Their only plan, or position rather, was just pass the full raising of the debt limit with no strings attached. And so we’re feeling pretty good about things, and I believe that Democrats are going to have to come to the table, whether that’s Schumer or Biden; I don’t really care who it is. I hope they’ll they’ll step up. I’m afraid that this will probably drag on a little later than it should, but that’s typical in Washington.”
Breitbart News Saturday airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Eastern.