It Looks Like House Republicans Are Preparing to Cave on the Debt Limit

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

For months now, the Democrats have been attacking the Republicans, accusing them of attempting to cause the U.S. to default on its financial obligations. Meanwhile, the GOP has insisted they aren’t going to cave on the debt limit but also says they are looking for cuts to address Washington D.C.’s exorbitant spending. That has become the rallying cry that has gotten conservatives behind House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

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But, behind the scenes, there appears to be very little progress on actually finding a path forward on this. McCarthy hasn’t spoken with or negotiated with President Joe Biden in months, and the plan GOP leadership is coming up with amounts to little more than “Throw all the red meat at the wall and see what sticks.”

Punchbowl News has more on this in its morning newsletter, breaking down what appears to be the GOP plan.

The legislation would lift the debt limit until May 2024. Leadership is considering either a cap on non-defense discretionary spending or a cap on overall discretionary spending after reducing it to FY 2022 levels. One cap being considered is $584 billion for non-defense discretionary spending — excluding Veterans Affairs programs.

They’re aiming to limit budget growth to 1% annually for the next 10 years. The House GOP proposal would rescind unspent Covid money, prohibit student loan forgiveness, repeal some green tax credits, institute work requirements for social programs and implement the House Republican energy plan (H.R. 1) and regulation-cutting REINS Act.

Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.) is taking the lead on helping craft the proposal, which would require action by several committees. Graves was deputized by Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

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Congress
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

The problem, as Punchbowl points out, is that McCarthy has, behind the scenes, appeared to have done very little. Pawning the work off on Garret Graves of Louisiana is important to note, as Graves is a moderate, more establishment-style Republican on his best days. Graves also toyed with a gubernatorial run in Louisiana, before bowing out at the last minute (at the repeated urging of conservatives throughout the state). For McCarthy to offer him the job of crafting the plan is a signal that the House Speaker wants to pay lip service to conservative principles on government spending, without actually committing to it.

This is all coming to light as McCarthy plans a trip to New York to give a speech to the New York Stock Exchange, attempting to mollify their concerns about the U.S. debt limit.

McCarthy and his team appear to believe that “key players on Wall Street aren’t cognizant of the fact that debt limit and government spending talks are nowhere,” according to Punchbowl.

But if the red meat in the proposal is just that, then it’s clear that when it fails, the House GOP’s leadership team will revert to the tried-and-true “Just go with the Democrats” approach and raise it while getting very little in return. Ultimately, it looks like we can expect McCarthy to give far more than he will receive in any debt limit deal. Such is the House Republican way.

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It is worth noting that the House GOP has some good conservatives who should at least be at the table on this one, but so far, there isn’t any indication that they are. Again, treating them like they are part of the team seems more like lip service than commitment. Conservatives get to have their little investigations but don’t appear to have a shot at crafting anything meaningful on these important issues.

The opinions expressed by contributors are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of RedState.com.

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