Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) predicted that Democrats will win debt ceiling negotiations as Republicans demand structural reforms to spending.
“Unfortunately, [McCarthy] let a group of very extreme people, he gave them the tools” to wield power, Schumer told Politico. “The plan is to get our Republican colleagues in the House to understand they’re flirting with disaster and hurting the American people. And to let the American people understand that as well. And I think we’ll win.”
The New York Democrat, who helped leverage debt ceiling and spending deals during former President Donald Trump’s administration, said, “No hostage-taking, no brinkmanship. Pass the debt ceiling.”
In response to Schumer, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who will meet with President Joe Biden on Wednesday, said, “When was the last time he did a budget? So, he wants somebody to lift the debt ceiling, but he won’t tell the American people where he’ll spend money?”
Not all Democrats in Schumer’s conference agree with his hardline tactics; Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who met privately with McCarthy last week, said it is “unreasonable” not to negotiate.
Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-TX), chair of the House Budget Committee, said the GOP wants specific structural reforms akin to the 2011 spending cap, otherwise known as the Budget Control Act.
Twenty-four Senate Republicans on Monday wrote a letter to President Biden, urging the administration to back spending reforms that would reduce the deficit.
“Americans are keenly aware that their government is not only failing to work for them – but actively working against them. We do not intend to vote for a debt-ceiling increase without structural reforms to address current and future fiscal realities and manage out-of-control government policies,” the Senate Republicans wrote.
Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Lee (R-UT), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), J.D. Vance (R-OH), Eric Schmitt (R-MO), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Mike Braun (R-IN), Ted Budd (R-NC), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Rick Scott (R-FL), Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Joni Ernst (R-IA), James Risch (R-ID), John Barrasso (R-WY), James Lankford (R-OK), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Pete Ricketts (R-NE), Katie Britt (R-AL), and Tim Scott (R-SC) signed the letter.
Schumer threatened that he would try to raise the debt ceiling without Republicans should he believe that they would not negotiate in good faith.
The New York Democrat explained, “I’ve always had a hierarchy. We’ll try to work with them when we can, but when they’re as extreme as they are, we have an obligation to stand up.”
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