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House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is expressing confidence that he would be able to muster enough support in the GOP-controlled chamber to pass a Republican-led debt ceiling plan that leftist Democrats are certain to oppose.
In a Fox News interview, anchor Maria Bartiromo asked McCarthy if he had sufficient votes for the bill that proposes suspending the debt limit until it increases by $1.5 trillion or until March 31, 2024 — whichever occurs first. The bill includes spending cuts and commitments aimed at promoting economic growth.
“We do have a very small majority, only five seats, one of the smallest we have ever had,” McCarthy said on “Sunday Morning Futures.”
But he waved off a discussion about a small number of Republicans who reportedly oppose the measure: “I cannot imagine someone in our conference that would want to go along with [President Joe] Biden’s reckless spending.”
The Speaker added that “everybody’s had input” during talks about the plan over the past months, but he also warned that most members won’t get “100 percent” of what they want. In addition, he chided Biden for refusing to hold negotiations for the roughly 80 days since talks were last held on the matter in early February, the Daily Wire reported.
As of now, the White House and leading Democrats in Congress are declining to consider the House GOP proposal. Instead, they are advocating for a “clean” debt ceiling bill that is independent of any spending cuts or policy concessions.
And in a speech Wednesday in which he appeared to struggle, Biden flatly rejected the plan and insulted the opposition party: “MAGA Republicans in Congress are threatening to default on the national debt … unless I agree to all these wacko notions they have.”
Meanwhile, Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) told “Fox News Sunday” she isn’t sure that McCarthy has the 218 votes needed to pass the debt ceiling proposal in the House, citing some of the provisions in the 320-page bill.
“I don’t think there are some Republicans that want a vote to cut education, reduce veterans spending by 22%,” she told the program. “That’s going to hurt veterans’ health care. It’s going to hurt Meals on Wheels. It’s going to hurt cancer research. It’s going to hurt law enforcement, first responders.”
The current national debt stands are more than $31 trillion, with a payment due on the debt that exceeds $559, Bartiromo reported.
Getting a deal done soon is critical, as experts have warned that defaulting on the debt would be devastating for the U.S. economy.
In January, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen informed Congress that the U.S. had surpassed the statutory limit of approximately $31.4 trillion and suggested that her agency employ “extraordinary measures” to ensure that the government could meet its financial obligations. However, these measures would only provide short-term relief.
As for McCarthy, he sounded a note of confidence that the House will pass something this week. “We will pass it, and we will send it to the Senate,” he noted.
Despite the Democrats’ narrow control of the upper chamber, McCarthy said he believed that House Republicans could gain momentum by passing a bill.
“When we send this to the Senate, we’re showing that, yes, we’re able to raise the debt ceiling into the next year, but what we’re doing is, we’re being responsible, fiscally, and bringing our house back in order,” he said. “It doesn’t solve all of our problems, but it gets us on the right path. And this gets us to the negotiating table, just as government and America expects us to do so.”
In September, Biden gave a speech during prime time that critics panned as being highly divisive and unnecessarily inflammatory.
In it, he attacked “MAGA Republicans” and suggested they were a major threat to the stability of the country and its democratic institutions, though the next day, he tried to walk back his remarks somewhat.
“We must be honest with each other and with ourselves,” Biden said during the speech at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, with a pair of U.S. Marines in the background. “Too much of what’s happening in our country today is not normal. Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic.”
“MAGA Republicans do not respect the Constitution,” he claimed without context or explanation. “They do not believe in the rule of law. They do not recognize the will of the people. They refuse to accept the results of a free election.”