Speaker Kevin McCarthy seems to have overlooked the fact that he is the Speaker of the House, and that he holds a legislative majority; he acts as if he were still Minority Leader. The deal he struck with President Joe Biden to suspend the debt ceiling is an unconditional surrender. Every Republican in the House and Senate should vote “no.”
The deal conveniently times the suspension of the debt limit to expire on January 1, 2025. That’s right at the end of the lame duck Congress that will be in session after the November 2024 election but before the inauguration of the new Congress and president elected in November 2024. That lame duck Congress could – and almost certainly will – vote to suspend the debt limit further, without any accountability.
That element of the deal is pulling a fast one on the American people.
Now let’s look at what else is in the deal.
Our government has grown by 40 percent since pre-COVID days. From a conservative point of view, the first task of any negotiated spending agreement in 2023 must be to return to pre-COVID spending levels. There is no emergency.
This deal fails that test, and fails miserably.
And, worse, by failing to return to pre-COVID levels now, the deal sets these ahistorically high spending levels as the baseline for future spending.
Remember, the Congressional Budget Office scored the Biden FY 2024 budget proposal as adding almost $20 trillion to the national debt over the next decade. This deal does nothing significant to alter that projected course of spending.
Instead, because it totally fails to cut spending significantly, this deal likely locks in a $4 trillion addition to the national debt over the next 18 months.
It’s simply unconscionable that a Republican Speaker would negotiate a deal that adds $4 trillion to our national debt over 18 months, period. Adding insult to injury, he tries to convince us that this is a good deal, and that we shouldn’t believe what we see with our own eyes.
Moreover, this bill relies for a significant portion of the meager savings it claims on clawing back unspent COVID funds. That’s not actually a spending cut, it’s merely getting back money that was appropriated but not yet spent.
A comparison of what’s in the Biden-McCarthy deal with what’s in the Limit, Save, Grow Act that passed the House in April is instructive.
The Limit, Save, Grow Act included rescission of the unobligated funds appropriated last year to pay for 87,000 new IRS employees, meaning it would cut about $70 billion from the IRS; the Biden-McCarthy deal reduces that to a $1.4 billion IRS cut. That’s a rounding error.
The Limit, Save, Grow Act contained strong work requirements for Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Programs, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and Medicaid. The Biden-McCarthy deal has minor work requirements for SNAP and TANF that create new exemptions and phase out, and leaves Medicaid untouched.
The Limit, Save, Grow Act contained the full text of H.R. 1, the Lower Energy Costs Act, to ensure full energy permitting reform, among other things; the Biden-McCarthy deal contains minor permitting reform that fast tracks Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act-subsidized unreliable energy and batteries.
The Limit, Save, Grow Act repealed the $1.2 trillion in tax breaks for Green New Deal initiatives found in the Inflation Reduction Act; the Biden-McCarthy deal preserves every cent of the Democrats’ massive Green New Deal subsidies that will weaken America’s energy infrastructure.
Perhaps worst of all, the Limit, Save, Grow Act would have stopped in its tracks Biden’s unconstitutional student loan bailout scam; the Biden-McCarthy deal leaves it in place. This particular aspect of the deal is an extraordinary affront – the American people are still outraged over Biden’s scheme.
It didn’t have to be this way. Speaker McCarthy had spent months confounding his adversaries and delighting his allies. He and his allies had been “underestimated,” as he put it. He entered the negotiations with a strong hand, not a weak one. Yet he capitulated.
Voting for this capitulation will be as bad as voting for the Troubled Asset Relief Program in 2008.
We will remember those who stand up for the American people and vote “no.” And we will remember those who cave in and vote “yes.”
November 2024 is just around the corner.
Jenny Beth Martin is Honorary Chairman of Tea Party Patriots Action.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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