Fiscal Hawks Warn Biden: No Debt Ceiling Deal Without Fiscal Reforms

The fiscal hawks are sticking to their guns.

On Friday, Sens. Ron Johnson (R-WI) and J.D. Vance (R-OH) joined 22 of their fellow Republican senators in a letter warning President Joe Biden that they will not vote for increasing the debt ceiling without structural reforms to the federal government’s budget and debt problems.

Biden on Thursday said he will not let Republicans “use the full faith and credit of the United States as a bargaining chip.”

The senators, some who held a press conference earlier in the week to hammer home the point they will bring Biden and his Democrat congressional allies to the table to bring fiscal sanity back to the federal government, double down on that point in their letter.

“Americans are keenly aware that their government is not only failing to work for them – but actively working against them,” the senators wrote. “We do not intend to vote for a debt-ceiling increase without structural reforms to address current and future fiscal realities and manage out-of-control government policies.”

They reiterate the policy of the Senate Republican conference “that any increase in the debt ceiling must be accompanied by cuts in the in federal spending of an equal or greater amount as the debt ceiling increase, or meaningful structural reform …”

Reform would include Republican proposals such as the Prevent Government Shutdowns Act, which requires lawmakers to keep working until they come up with an agreeable funding plan — while the government stays open. Or the Full Faith and Credit Act, which in part requires the federal government to prioritize all obligations on the debt held by the public in the event that the debt limit is reached.

Congress and the White find themselves in another game of political chicken with a debt ceiling battle. The U.S. debt hit its current cap, at $31.4 trillion, last week. The clock is ticking on a potential fiscal catastrophe. Congress has until June to raise or suspend the debt ceiling or it could face a historic debt default. That could be disastrous for the country’s credit rating in particular and the U.S. and world economies in general.

The Biden administration, which has led massive spending increases in its two years in office, has said it won’t negotiate on the debt ceiling.

“If Republicans want to work together on real solutions and continue to grow manufacturing jobs, build the strongest economy in the world and make sure Americans are paid a fair wage, I’m ready,” Biden said Friday in Springfield, Va. “But I will not let anyone use the full faith and credit of the United States as a bargaining chip.”

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) earlier this week said Biden will have to negotiate, “and it’s best to start now.”

The Republican lawmakers say no one wants the U.S. government to default on its debt, and it need not reach that destructive point. But they say the time to act to get the federal government’s fiscal house in order is now.

“Our nation’s fiscal policy is a disaster,” the letter to the president states. “Inflation is making life more expensive for American families every single day. Meanwhile, your administration is directing federal agencies to continue to spend billions in taxpayer resources, expanding the size and scope of the IRS to go after families and small businesses, policing the speech of Americans on social media, funding equity programs in the military, and pouring money into programs for a pandemic that your administration has declared over.”

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M.D. Kittle is the National Political Editor for The Star News Network.
Photo “Ron Johnson” by Ron Johnson. Photo “JD Vance” by JD Vance. 




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