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White House launches full court press against House Liberal Caucus debt ceiling demands

The White House stepped up its attacks on the House Liberal caucuses over the weekend after the conservative bloc presented a series of demands to secure a vote to raise the country’s debt ceiling.

In a press release formatted as a memo to TV show producers on Saturday, White House communications director Ben Rabolt threatened Republican lawmakers to cut funding for law enforcement, border security, education and manufacturing. accused of doing so. Wealthy and wasteful spending for special gains. “

“Republicans in the MAGA House are proposing at least 20% cuts across the board if evenly distributed across affected discretionary programs,” the press release read. “This means a 20% reduction in law enforcement, border security, education and manufacturing.

“These cuts will weaken competition with China, raise costs for working families and threaten national security.

Lawmakers in the Freedom Caucus presented a series of demands on Friday that set the bar for Republicans before House Speaker Kevin McCarthy returns to negotiations with the White House.

Among the demands of ultra-conservative groups are canceling President Biden’s $400 billion student loan write-off, recovering unused COVID-19 funds, withdrawing the $80 billion IRS boost approved last December, and limits on discretionary spending for the next 10 years. .

“The current debt crisis has been driven solely by reckless Democratic policies and out-of-control spending,” Pennsylvania Republican House Liberal Party Chairman Scott Perry said Friday. “To keep America from defaulting, the House Liberal Caucus is proposing a responsible solution to the self-imposed crisis.”

With nearly 50 members and supporters, the Freedom Caucus is a negotiating force in the Republican House of Representatives. However, McCarthy has not indicated whether he is in favor of the group’s latest demands.

The group believes that a plan to limit only discretionary spending and allow for 1% annual growth would save $3 trillion in the long run and “replace a wasteful, awakened, and weaponized federal bureaucracy.” reduce,” he said.

The proposal faces a $6.8 trillion budget for 2024, recently announced by President Biden, and envisions a surge in spending on social programs and about $5.50. trillion new taxes.

The budget, which sets the U.S. on a record spending course as a percentage of the economy, calls for an 8% increase in what the government is projected to spend this fiscal year.

When the government reached its $31.4 trillion borrowing capacity, the Treasury Department began taking “special measures” to avoid a default in January. These emergency measures are expected to give the government enough headroom to cover daily costs through the summer.

President Biden has called on Congress to raise the debt ceiling “without conditions,” Republicans said, using the country’s full trust and credit as a bargaining chip to cut vital programs like Social Security. condemned.

McCarthy, a California Republican, said Social Security and Medicare were off the agenda for debt-relief talks, but called on Democrats to come up with plans to cut what he called runaway spending.

Lawmakers behind the House Liberty Committee plan say their plan to limit discretionary spending puts the budget on a path to “balance while protecting Social Security retirement and Medicare benefits.” .

Freedom Caucus also wants to implement Clinton-era labor requirements into welfare programs.

On Saturday, the White House doubled down on claims that Republicans want to “deprive millions of people of Medicare coverage.”

“MAGA Republicans are calling for nationwide application of failed state policies that deprive Medicaid coverage of those who do not meet reporting requirements for bureaucratic jobs,” the White House press release read. It is written

After a one-on-one meeting with Biden last month, McCarthy said he would continue negotiations with Biden over the debt ceiling.

After a briefing by the head of the Congressional Budget Office, McCarthy urged the White House to continue negotiations.

“If the president delays the opportunity to negotiate together to resolve this issue, the economic impact will only be greater,” McCarthy said Wednesday.

Biden has called on Republicans to release their budget proposals before they are willing to reset the debt ceiling.

The House Liberal Caucus generally represents the most conservative side of the Republican Party, but given that the Republicans have a small majority in the House, they wield tremendous influence within the party. are doing.

And the group showed no signs of backing down on Friday.

“Members of the House Liberal Caucus are ready to roll up their sleeves and get to a vote on these proposals now, and we intend to do so today,” Perry said. America will not default unless the White House launches full court press against House Liberal Caucus debt ceiling demands

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