According to a recent MSNBC guest, Republican efforts to restore some balance to the nation’s books are spawned by a desire to be “cruel.”
That’s the interesting assertion from Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson. On Friday, he claimed that the GOP’s desire to tie spending cuts with raising the country’s debt ceiling are a diabolical way to be mean to Americans.
Robinson said that “after spending like drunken sailors…we should remind everybody that the cruelty here, the cruelty is not a bug, it’s a feature.”
Speaking to “Morning Joe” co-host Willie Geist, the “journalist” said the entire point for Republicans is not financial responsibility, it’s cruelty. “It’s not saving money, It’s being performatively cruel to people that they can demonize, that’s what they’ve always done.”
I was a financial professional & know what capital markets look at. It’s not just about the debt ceiling but also controlling spending.
— Congressman Byron Donalds (@RepDonaldsPress) May 12, 2023
The partisan divide is deep with this issue. There have been calls from Democrats for President Joe Biden to use the Fourteenth Amendment to raise the debt ceiling without GOP support.
Republicans countered that such a unilateral act would be grounds for impeachment.
Democrats are doing everything in their power — which is very little in the House — to push the nation’s debt ceiling higher without any accompanying spending cuts. In recent days, the effort kicked into high gear.
Under the guidance of House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Democrats on Wednesday began harvesting signatures from within their party for a discharge petition. This could force a vote even if the GOP majority is against it.
By Thursday afternoon there were 210 Democratic signatures on the petition. A discharge petition requires 218 votes, but the minority party has only 213 seats.
But even if this vote is taken, it is almost certainly symbolic at best. Republicans are unified, and the chances of five defections are slim and none.
Republicans have repeatedly made clear that they will not agree to a debt ceiling increase without corresponding spending cuts, something Democrats are trying to avoid at all costs. The GOP is not asking for much, simply moving the level of spending back to that of 2022.
Though the exact deadline is unclear, many see June 1 as the date a resolution to the standoff needs to be reached to avoid the nation’s first default.