Ron DeSantis trashes McCarthy-Biden debt limit deal, says it puts U.S. ‘careening toward bankruptcy’
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday condemned the bipartisan deal struck over the weekend between House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Biden to lift the nation’s debt ceiling as “totally inadequate” when it comes to slashing federal spending.
The Republican presidential candidate’s criticism was reminiscent of the opposition among hardline conservatives on Capitol Hill to the agreement as GOP lawmakers line up to say they will vote against the deal to avoid default.
“Prior to this deal, our country was careening toward bankruptcy, and after this deal our country will still be careening toward bankruptcy,” Mr. DeSantis said on “Fox & Friends.” “Obviously, in Washington, D.C., they do these cycles to just get them through the next election, and that’s ultimately one of the reasons why they continue to fail.”
Lawmakers return to Washington this week to pass the legislation before the June 5 default deadline. The first litmus test will occur in the House on Tuesday when the Rules Committee, a panel that includes several Republicans who are expected to oppose the bill, will vote on whether to advance it to the full chamber.
Mr. DeSantis’ strongest competitor for the GOP nomination, former President Donald Trump, was mum on the bipartisan deal as of Monday. However, Mr. Trump previously urged Republicans in social media posts “not make a deal on the debt ceiling unless they get everything they want (Including the ‘kitchen sink’).”
“That’s the way the Democrats have always dealt with us,” Mr. Trump previously posted on his Truth Social site. “Do not fold!!!”
The list of opposed members in the conservative House Freedom Caucus continued to grow Monday, with those like Reps. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Chip Roy of Texas, Andy Biggs of Arizona and Bob Good of Virginia.
The agreement would raise the $31.4 trillion debt limit until after the 2024 presidential election, claw back billions in unspent pandemic relief and cut IRS funding by roughly $20 billion over a decade.
Domestic spending would remain unchanged for the upcoming fiscal year starting Oct. 1. Defense spending is set to grow by more than $26 billion. After this year, the growth of federal spending would be capped at 1% annually through 2025. Federal spending is technically capped for six years, but the spending targets are not enforceable after 2025.
The House will need 218 votes to pass the legislation, which means Republicans will need the help of Democrats. House Republican leadership and the White House are fervently trying to corral their left and right flanks ahead of this week’s high-stake votes.
While progressives were equally as frustrated with the deal because of stricter work requirements for food stamps that run until 2030, spending cuts and energy provisions they say are a gift to fossil fuels, a key bloc of House Democrats announced their support. Known as the New Democrat Coalition, the nearly 100-member group said they will vote for it.
“Compromise depends on give and take, and this bill required concessions from both sides,” the coalition said. “Defaulting on our debt, as some radical Republicans suggest we should, is not an option.”