Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson recently appeared on MSNBC, claiming that Republicans are pushing for spending cuts in debt ceiling negotiations because they’re “cruel.”
“The shock that spending is going on here in Washington, you know, after spending like drunken sailors. You know, we should not be surprised, but we should remind everybody that the cruelty here, the cruelty is not a bug, it’s a feature,” Robinson told MSNBC host Willie Geist.
“It’s the whole point right now of what the Republicans are demanding, is cruelty,” Robinson continued. “It’s not saving money. It’s being performatively cruel to people that they can demonize, that’s what they’ve always done.”
WaPo's @Eugene_Robinson on Republicans asking for spending cuts in exchange for a bigger national debt:
"The cruelty here, the cruelty is not a bug, it’s a feature. It’s the whole point right now of what the Republicans are demanding is the cruelty. It’s not saving money" pic.twitter.com/OOHR3MArIo
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) May 19, 2023
The House recently passed the Limit, Save, Grow Act by a 217-215 vote, with four Republicans, Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Tim Burchett (R-TN), Ken Buck (R-CO), and Andy Biggs (R-AZ) joining all Democrats in opposing the legislation.
The bill increases the debt ceiling by $1.5 trillion, rescinds aspects of the Inflation Reduction Act, requires Congress to approve regulations with an economic effect of over $100 million, and creates new work requirements for welfare programs.
“Kevin McCarthy could need 20, 30, 40 Democratic votes to get this through the House. It’s unclear to me that we are as close as they say we are to getting this done, because Hakeem Jeffries is then going to have to sell these cruel and unnecessary cuts to his caucus or to enough members of his caucus to actually pass this thing,” Robinson said.
Several Democrats sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to use the 14th Amendment to raise the debt ceiling, opposing the new work requirements for welfare.
Republicans warned that such a decision could lead to Biden’s impeachment.
“Republicans have made it clear that they are prepared to hold our entire economy hostage unless you accede to their demands to reduce the deficit on the backs of working families. That is simply unacceptable,” the letter states, according to The Washington Post.
“We write to urgently request that you prepare to exercise your authority under the 14th Amendment of the Constitution. Using this authority would allow the United States to continue to pay its bills on-time, without delay, preventing a global economic catastrophe,” it adds.