Wednesday 3 May 2023

Scalise: Biden doesn’t have Plan B if he vetoes McCarthy’s debt bill

 House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) remarked that President Joe Biden does not have a Plan B if he vetoes the debt bill pushed by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).

“The president doesn’t have a Plan B, [so] he would not veto this bill if it got to his desk,” Scalise told Fox Business host Stuart Varney on April 26. He added that Biden must address the debt ceiling and Washington, D.C.’s spending problem at the same time. ( 

“The bottom line is: The American people recognize that while the president maxed out the nation’s credit card – which is why we’re hitting the debt ceiling – you don’t just give Biden another credit card to go max out. That’s what he’s asking for.”

According to Scalise, there were two tweaks done to McCarthy’s bill. The first one involved ramping up the date of implementation, and the second one centered on the work requirements for eliminating tax credits.

“We wanted to get all of that started earlier and get those savings to the taxpayers earlier. So, we lined the dates to start in 2024 and work requirements on some of the tax credits that were going to be eliminated. Some were related to the president’s big tax and spend bill from last year,” the Louisiana congressman explained.

In response to Varney’s question whether the entire Republican faction in the House of Representatives was on board concerning the debt ceiling bill, Scalise said they had “a really good meeting” with the full membership. He added that McCarthy had reiterated during the meeting that his debt ceiling bill is of utter importance to the country. Moreover, a lot of GOP members that never voted to raise the debt ceiling spoke up.

Scalise remarked that the House needs to pass the bill to get spending under control and undo the problems Biden created. He also pointed out that the president sitting on the sidelines is not a tenable position.

Dem-controlled Senate could kill off McCarthy’s bill

McCarthy gathered just enough votes on April 26 to pass the House GOP’s proposal – but not without last minute changes to pacify holdouts. However, the legislation that passed 217-215 could be shot down by the Democratic-controlled Senate. Despite not having a Plan B, Biden himself has vowed to veto the bill the moment it makes it to his desk.

“The sad part here is, now the Democrats need to do their job,” McCarthy told reporters.

“The president can no longer ignore by not negotiating. Sen. [Chuck] Schumer (D-NY), if he thinks he’s got a plan, put it on the floor – see if you can pass it. We lifted the debt limit, we’ve sent it to the Senate, we’ve done our job, the only body in here that’s done theirs.”

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre earlier said that the bill has no chance of becoming law.

“Congressional Republicans must act immediately and without conditions to avoid default and ensure that the full faith and credit of the U.S is not put at risk. That is their job,” she said on April 24.

“Economists have warned that default could spark a dangerous financial crisis, lead to a recession costing millions of Americans their jobs, endanger hard-working Americans’ retirement savings, and increase long-term federal borrowing costs, adding to deficits and debt. We are not a deadbeat nation … We pay our bills. Congressional Republicans must do that again now and act to avoid default.”

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