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Republican Columnist Warns GOP Against Debt Ceiling Battle

Chris Agee
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As the federal government considers its approach to the current debt ceiling crisis, Republican lawmakers are pushing for significant spending cuts in exchange for raising the current borrowing limit.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has led the charge, recently calling out the Biden administration for refusing to negotiate with Republicans in order to reduce the nation’s $31 trillion debt.

“If your child had a credit card and kept hitting its limit, you wouldn’t just keep increasing it,” he said. “You would first find out, what are you spending on? Look, I’m very reasonable. I’m very sensible. All I’m asking for is a responsible debt limit increase.”


According to Washington Post columnist Marc Thiessen, who served as a speechwriter for former President George W. Bush, pursuing a protracted battle about the debt ceiling could come back to bite Republicans.

“If you look at the polls, most Americans think the economy is doing poorly and they blame [President] Joe Biden, which is why it would be insane for the Republicans to pick a fight over the debt limit,” he said. “Some economists are predicting a recession later this year. Why would Republicans want to take ownership of that away from Joe Biden?” 

Doing so, Thiessen concluded, would “give Biden a pretext to say that it is the Republicans’ fault.”

He went on to cite similar examples from recent U.S. history in determining that “Republicans tend to lose elections after debt ceiling fights,” asserting that such a battle now “would damage the economy and damage their chances of winning back the White House.”

While White House officials including Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen have forecasted doomsday scenarios tied to the GOP push to tie a debt ceiling increase to reduced spending, at least a few Democrats are calling for a bipartisan debate.

“This is a democracy that we have,” asserted Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV). “And we should be able to talk and find out where our differences are. And if they are irreconcilable, then you have to move on from there and let the people make their decisions.”

Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) said he is “optimistic” that Biden and McCarthy will ultimately meet to hash out the debt dispute, noting that it “takes constructive conversation” to resolve these matters.