Predictably, for all their tough talk on cutting spending and beginning to deal with the national debt, the Republicans aren’t actually willing to force a fiscal reckoning by banding together and refusing to vote for a debt ceiling limit increase. Instead, they’ll do the usual playacting and then go along with raising the limit yet again.
Such is what Rep. Dan Crenshaw exposed during an appearance on Fox News Channel’s “Your World,” saying:
“[W]e just took over the House, so we’re going to create our budget and we’re going to have a starting point that…is going to be more cuts and more spending limitations than the White House would like. And, well, that’s too bad. What’s the White House’s choice? What, are they going to default on the debt? I don’t think they want to do that.”
Letting what’s really going to happen slip, Crenshaw then said “Look, we’re going to have to come to the table here.”
But, though it looks like the GOP is going to back down on the fiscal issue once again, Crenshaw at least suggested that some spending cuts might come from the battle, saying that spending has advanced hugely in recent years and implying that it could be cut, saying:
“And look, people talk about how draconian some of these ideas are, but it’s worth noting that discretionary spending has been increasing over the last few years at double the rate of inflation, and that’s not even counting other bills like the IRA and American Rescue Plan, which was almost $2 trillion, the infrastructure plan which was over a trillion dollars, the CHIPS bill, which was hundreds of billions of dollars. It’s not even counting that. A lot of this money has flooded through these government agencies. They’ve got a lot of money.”
McConnell made similar comments to Crenshaw on the debt ceiling question, telling reporters:
“No, I would not be concerned about a financial crisis. In the end, I think the important thing to remember is that America must never default on its debt. It never has, and it never will. We’ll end up in some kind of negotiation with the administration over what the circumstances or conditions under which the debt ceiling be raised.”
Why America can’t default and get rid of the debt while forcing itself to act in a fiscally responsible manner was left unstated by both Crenshaw and McConnell.
But, though Crenshaw and Co. might be willing to back down on the issue as usual, it looks like Biden might torpedo things by refusing to negotiate, as The Hill reported, saying “The White House is refusing to negotiate with Republicans on raising the debt ceiling, a risky position that Democrats think is a political winner, but that also reflects their scars from previous fights.”
So, even if RINOs want to back down, perhaps Biden’s intransigence will force a crisis that leads to fiscal responsibility.