Jayapal Predicts Backlash ‘in the Streets’ If Biden Agrees to Spending Cuts in Debt-Ceiling Negotiations
Representative Pramila Jajapal (D. Washington) warned on Tuesday that leftists will take to streets if Biden agrees with Republicans to cut spending as part of negotiations to avoid a debt default.
She said: “I believe there would be an enormous backlash, not only from the House Democratic Caucus but also the Progressives and the people on the street.” “It is important that we do not take backward steps from the very powerful agenda that the President himself led and shepherded over the past years.”
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said earlier this week that the U.S. must raise its debt ceiling by June 1, or else risk defaulting on their obligations.
Yellen told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that she had warned Congress in her last letter that they could be unable pay their bills as early as June, and perhaps as early as June 1.
House Republicans passed legislation in April to extend government borrowing authority. The bill also included spending reductions, a reduction in the growth of national debt and work requirements for welfare. The Biden administration insisted on raising the debt ceiling without adding any additional features throughout May. Republicans, however, refused to raise the ceiling without spending cuts.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Biden met on Monday at White House, both parties indicating that although a deal has not yet been struck, the talks had been productive.
By Friday, almost every House Democrat was in agreement with a plan that would force a vote on a “clean increase” without making any concessions to Republicans. Biden proposed a debt ceiling deal that claimed to reduce the deficit of $3 trillion. However, further analysis shows it actually increases federal spending rather than reducing taxes. Biden could consider unilateral action as the stakes increase. This would allow him to borrow without Congress’ consent. However, any such move will be challenged in court because it violates the power of Congress.
Biden was criticized by Senator Joe Manchin, D., W.Va., for his “lack of leadership” when he refused to speak with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in April, even though the GOP bill is the only one that has been moving through Congress and would have prevented default.
The U.S. is at risk of a debt downgrade from rating agencies as the deadline for June 1 approaches. Some economists argue that the AA+ rating of America’s bonds is due for a change, given its massive debt-to-GDP ratio. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that federal spending in this fiscal year will reach 23.7 percent, surpassing 21 percent before Covid.