President Joe Biden this afternoon skewered House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who finally released an actual list of proposals after months of yelling about amorphous “CUTS” and disingenuously tying the debt limit to spending cuts. The bill primarily targets Biden’s agenda and legislative victories.
“That’s the MAGA economic agenda: spending cuts for working and middle class folks,” Biden said, while speaking from union hall in Maryland Wednesday. “It’s not about fiscal discipline, it’s about cutting benefits for folks that they don’t seem to care much about.”
Biden’s response comes after McCarthy finally released a proposal after months of goading the administration to negotiate proposals he couldn’t produce.
The 320-page document is a panoply of red-meat base messaging and benefits cuts: It would repeal the green energy tax credits passed in the Inflation Reduction Act, add more requirements to benefit programs like SNAP (formerly known as food stamps), cut money allocated to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and rescind the Biden administration’s order forgiving student debt. It would also suspend the debt ceiling until 2024.
In short: It is dead on arrival in the Senate. It’s meant to show that House Republicans can all agree on a proposal (which is already in doubt), and to give McCarthy a leg to stand on when he criticizes Biden for refusing to negotiate.
Fundamentally, this is still about Republicans wanting to use the debt ceiling to extract political concessions out of Biden that they’d never get through legislative order. Now, they’ll use this document to bellyache that the White House still won’t negotiate with them, that they’re just being fiscally responsible (ha) and that they have no choice but to conflate the debt ceiling and spending cuts (because a Democrat is in the White House again so it’s time to pretend they care about austerity).
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