Poll finds only 9% of voters support such cuts, including just 15% of Republican voters.
By Raquel Damus
January 31, 2023 (Washington D.C.) --After the U.S surpassed its debt limit, lawmakers are calling for important decisions to be made so that the government can continue paying bills already authorized by Congress.
The U.S economy is currently running a deficit and urgently needs to borrow money. In order to lift the debt ceiling, House Republicans are calling for spending cuts. That includes calls to slash spending on major programs such as Medicare and Social Security, the Washington Post reports. Democrats oppose such cuts, and moderates are carefully treading through negotiations to avoid any major damages to America’s economy.
Customarily, negotiations over spending cuts or increases occur during budget negotiations –not raising the debt limit to pay bills already incurred.
Consequences of defaulting on federal debts
Lifting the debt ceiling is crucial for Congress to pay the bills they have already approved. Failure to do so could result in the US going into breach on its debts, including those owed to foreign nations. Defaulting on those debts would be damaging than delaying votes on a budget plan, that has in the past resulted in delays in the payment to some federal employees.
“Failure to meet the government’s obligations would cause irreparable harm to the U.S. economy, the livelihoods of all Americans and global financial stability,” former Federal Reserve Chair, Janet Yellen commented.
Political leaders speak out
President Joe Biden has staunchly opposed cuts to Social Security or Medicare, on which seniors and disabled individuals rely. Each party blames the other for the impasse.
Moderate Republican Representative Don Bacon said, ”I know we can't ask for the moon. But the President also can't refuse to negotiate. I mean, if he refuses to negotiate, you're not going to get any Republican support for anything."
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican has expressed that any solution for the debt ceiling would have to come from president Biden or from House Majority Leader McCarthy. But McConnell expressed that since the House is primarily controlled by Republicans, they are unlikely to accept the solutions from the Democratic-led Senate.
Defense cuts also on the table
Several other Republicans have been calling for deeper spending cuts in other areas to stabilize the debt ceiling.
"We can spend at defense spending levels for the '23 omnibus. We can return to pre-COVID spending levels for the rest of the bureaucratic state, and you can get to better than '22 levels," Republican House Representative, Chip Roy remarked.
Public supports lifting debt ceiling, opposes cuts in Social Security and Medicare
According to the Washington Post, approximately 70% of Americans actively oppose the idea of Congress reducing the spending on Medicare and Social Security. Even most Republican voters oppose cuts to Medicare and Social Security; only 22% of Republicans support this idea.
Similarly, a poll by Data for Progress found 63% of likely voters believe Republicans should raise the debt limit without forcing cuts to Social Security and Medicare, including 78% of Democrats and 50% of Republicans. Only 9% of all voters polled support Republicans forcing cuts to Social Security and Medicare, and just 15% of Republicans support such cuts, with the rest undecided.
Impasse in Congress continues
Meanwhile, the Democrats have been insisting that the urgent debts will be resolved without having to utilize spending cuts. They have refused to submit to the Republicans’ demands to start cutting into Medicare and Social Security. Though many strategists are claiming that the Democrats might soon go to the bargaining table with Republicans over the impending debt.
House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, a Democrat, said, "There is a difference between a compromise and a ransom note. And so let me be clear. We are not going to pay a ransom note to extremists in the other party."
When he was asked if Democrats would continue sticking to their position, he added, “We’re not going to let the car go off the cliff even though there are people who are willing to do it."
here we go again
The entire bloated budget must be borrowed,