One of the most ludicrous lies that Republican politicians regularly tell is that they care about “fiscal responsibility” in government. Mitch McConnell and his ilk gleefully skyrocket the debt under Republican presidents by balloon military spending and handing out massive unneeded tax cuts to the super-wealthy and then suddenly want to tug the purse-string tights once a Democrat is in the White House.
It’s not that GOP congressmen and senators actually have any issue with massive spending, it’s that they hate spending money on programs that actually help the average American because then that money isn’t getting funneled to the 1%.
Currently, Democrats are negotiating a plan to raise the debt limit as the Treasury Department has stated that the government’s authority to borrow expires next month. If the ceiling is not raised the U.S. could default on its debt and plunge the world into financial chaos. It would be the first time in American history.
Republicans are already digging in their heels over the measure, and Democrats could end up tying the vote to once again raise the debt ceiling with a vote to fund the government. This move would in turn push Republicans to sign off on both or end up shouldering the blame for a government shutdown.
Democrats control the Senate with a 50-50 tie that can be broken by Vice President Kamala Harris. However, raising the debt limit requires 60 votes to break the filibuster, and Republicans are signaling that they will not provide the additional votes necessary to cross the voting threshold.
GOP opposition is rooted in the usual petty partisan jockeying. They oppose Biden’s push to pass a $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill, not because of any honest ideological opposition to it, but because they’re afraid of handing him a historic, popular legislative win. McConnell has stated that Republicans “are united in opposition to raising the debt ceiling.”
Infrastructure should be an overwhelmingly bipartisan priority. Instead, Republicans are sabotaging the greater good for political gain. Time and again the GOP demonstrates unequivocally that it has no interest in building a stronger, more prosperous America and yet somehow people keep voting these people into power.
McConnell took to Twitter today to try to pin the blame for any negotiation problems on the Democrats by pointing out that they control the White House, House of Representatives, and Senate. He claimed they have “every tool” they need to raise the debt limit, which presumably means Democrats bowing to his every demand to secure the needed Republican votes on the measure.
“Republicans will not facilitate another reckless, partisan taxing and spending spree,” concluded McConnell. Apparently repairing our crumbling roads and bridges and taking steps to stave off global climate catastrophe is “reckless.” These are not the words of a man serious about confronting the challenges of the future. These are the words of a man fixated solely on his own political power.
Let’s be clear: With a Democratic President, a Democratic House, and a Democratic Senate, Democrats have every tool they need to raise the debt limit. It is their sole responsibility. Republicans will not facilitate another reckless, partisan taxing and spending spree.
— Leader McConnell (@LeaderMcConnell) September 15, 2021
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This is a staff report from former Occupy Democrats Editor in Chief Colin Taylor or contributor Rob Haffney.