SURPRISE: McCarthy Lies About Debt Ceiling Deal in Desperate Attempt to Save His Shaky Speakership
The morning after it was announced that President Biden and Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy reached a deal to avoid a catastrophic debt default, McCarthy began almost immediately misrepresenting the terms of the deal.
McCarthy’s speakership – which took a historic 15 votes to achieve – is on thin ice, and any perception by his caucus that he compromised with Biden and the Democrats – a mortal sin in GOP World – could result in his being voted out as Speaker by his own colleagues.
Consequently, McCarthy is spinning like a top as he makes the morning rounds on the Sunday talk shows. However, true to form, he is lying about what the debt ceiling deal entails in order to deceive his fellow Republicans and stave off a revolt that would cost him his job. An interview of Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries by Margaret Brennan on CBS’s Face the Nation revealed just how desperate McCarthy is.
Brennan: Speaker McCarthy predicted this morning he can get a majority of Republicans he says some Democrats he thinks will vote for it. But he also quoted something he says You told him. Listen.
McCarthy (video): I think there’s gonna be a lot of Democrats who vote for it too. Right now, the Democrats are very upset. But one thing Hakeem told me, there’s nothing in the bill for them. There’s not one thing in the bill for Democrats.
Brennan: Did you say that? And how do you convince Democrats?
Jeffries: I have no idea what he’s talking about, particularly because I have not been able to review the actual legislative text, all that we’ve reached is an agreement in principle. […] I have no idea what he’s talking about, particularly because I have not been able to review the actual legislative text, all that we’ve reached is an agreement in principle.
So according to Jeffries, the conversation that McCarthy says took place never happened. Which is easily the more believable version of events considering how flagrantly McCarthy twisted his assertions about the reception by Democrats to the proposed deal. In fact, McCarthy actually contradicted himself in consecutive sentences, saying first that Democrats will vote for the deal, followed immediately by saying that “Democrats are very upset.”
McCarthy goes on to assert that Democrats are going to vote for the deal despite allegedly believing there is “nothing in the bill for them.” None of what McCarthy is saying makes any sense. And he doesn’t offer a single example of an “upset” Democrat.
On the other more reality-based hand, the evidence of upset members appears to be much more prominent among McCarthy’s Republicans. The grossly misnamed GOP “Freedom” Caucus is already promising to scuttle the deal. Republicans Lauren Boebert, Ken Buck, Bob Good, Ralph Norman, and Chip Roy, are among those who quickly came out publicly to announce their opposition, accusing McCarthy of caving in to the radical, socialist Democrats.
For the record, the deal has pluses and minuses for both sides, which is the nature of compromise in a democracy. But the most significant features include putting off any future debt ceiling debates for two years, well past the 2024 elections. So Republicans won’t be able to hold the nation hostage again in order to hurt Biden’s reelection and boost their own electoral prospects. The deal also protects most of the funding for social safety net programs (i.e. Medicaid, Medicare, food assistance, etc.), climate change mitigation, student loan deferrals, and IRS enforcement against wealthy tax cheats.
That isn’t exactly an agreement that can honestly be portrayed as having “not one thing in the bill for Democrats.” McCarthy’s spin is nearly delusional in its distortion of reality. But then, that’s typical for Republicans who feel compelled to always cast themselves as either glorious winners or pathetic victims.
And speaking of victims… Donald Trump! He has lobbied fiercely for Republicans to embrace the disaster of default, but hasn’t said a single word about this deal. Although he did take time to trash Disney and congratulate his “friend” and fellow aspiring dictator Erdogan of Turkey on his reelection. But fear not. Trump is probably just dusting off his caps lock and preparing to go ballistic over how the weak RINOS failed to kneecap the Democrats by pushing the nation into a severe recession or worse.
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