One thing McCarthy apparently wants is to make people hungry. A centerpiece of the budget reduction message he has delivered to Wall Street is the sharp reduction in food aid programs. It gets a lukewarm response from Republicans in the Senate (where it won’t pass). A GOP Senate aide scoffed, “I mean, Godspeed. Get what you can. We’re going to live in reality here.
Arkansas GOP Sen. John Boozman reiterated that reality, saying it “would be tough to make it through the Senate with 60 votes.” He doubts he’ll even get 218 in the House GOP. “You look at the margin in the House,” he said, “it might be difficult to pass it in the House.”
McCarthy has four votes to spare, and many of its members have voters among the 41 million low-income Americans who receive assistance from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. This includes a group of swing state Republicans, including a new group of freshmen from New York.
It is only one aspect of the massive cuts that McCarthy should pass to get the kind of spending cuts he’s talking about — cuts he’s going to find impossible to find 218 votes for.
That’s just one reason he doesn’t have a plan, as Biden was quick to point out. “Show me his budget”, Biden told reporters early Sunday morning, on his return from his trip to Ireland. Biden published its budget March 9. McCarthy didn’t post anything. Not even an agreed plan for the cuts he is asking for.
“I don’t know what we’re negotiating if I don’t know what they want, what they’re going to do,” Biden stressed.
This is one of the reasons the White House is as adamant as it is in asserting that the only option is a clean debt ceiling separate from budget negotiations. They can count to 218, even though McCarthy can’t. They may also point to plenty of evidence that only one side of this argument thinks that breaching the debt limit isn’t that bad.
Andrew Bates, a White House spokesman, responded to McCarthy’s latest news in a statement reflecting that. The House should “immediately take a breach of our obligations off the table – which would worsen the fiscal outlook.”
“House Republicans need to tackle the debt ceiling; it is their non-negotiable obligation under the Constitution,” Bates said.
House Republicans have spent more time developing an ineffective plan for what the Treasury Department might do after a default rather than putting together any kind of budget to present to Biden to start a real negotiation process. Putting the nation at fault has actually become something that some Republicans say should happen. For real.
“My view is that the current crisis is debt; it’s not that we might not exceed the debt ceiling,” said Stephen Moore, a leading economist at the right-wing Heritage Foundation. “It’s that we can’t just stay on this path. There will be financial wreckage.
Meanwhile, on Wall Street, the hair of real economists is on fire. “It will be financial chaos,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, if the nation even comes close to defaulting. “Our fiscal problems will be significantly worse. … Our geopolitical position in the world will be undermined.
Barely President McCarthy stumbles over debt ceiling and budget again
The GOP Might Have a Plan That Saves Social Security and Medicare: Literally Eviscerate Everything Else
McCarthy plots by default, tries to make Treasury do impossible thing, but calls Biden ‘unserious’