With a June 1 deadline looming, debt ceiling negotiations have reportedly deteriorated and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) rejected House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) claim that his own efforts had anything to do with that.
“Well, I doubt that very much.”
Congressional leftists are leaning into a scheme for President Joe Biden to invoke the 14th Amendment to bypass the legislature to raise the debt ceiling, but Sanders, the “socialist wing” leader, hedged his involvement barring success.
Sunday, he joined MSNBC’s “Velshi” where host Ali Velshi prompted him with a comment McCarthy had made earlier on Fox News. “Kevin McCarthy is now directly calling you out by name, just seconds ago, on Fox News, for being the reason that the discussion about this has broken down. Your response?”
WATCH: Bernie Sanders responds to Kevin McCarthy blaming him for the debt ceiling standoff: “Stop your hypocrisy. Stop defending the billionaire class from paying their fair share of taxes…” https://t.co/qPfNqkSfO0 pic.twitter.com/txPQtkp7WA
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) May 21, 2023
“Well, I doubt that very much.,” the senator said before adding, “But to the degree that the White House says to these Republicans, stop your hypocrisy, stop defending the billionaire class from paying their fair share of taxes while you want to cut programs that the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor need, if I have any role — if progressives have any role in that, that’s great.”
McCarthy’s claim had come during a talk with Maria Bartiromo on “Sunday Morning Futures” that pointed toward a Friday press conference led by Sanders that, by the speaker’s assessment, had preempted the breakdown in negotiations.
“He really wags the dog. I mean, when Bernie Sanders or AOC says something, the White House shifts to the other way,” the California lawmaker said.
“The president has really shifted right after the more progressive socialist wing of the party stood up and says they want to spend more money. He’s not bringing something to the table that everyone said was off the table,” McCarthy had charged.
“It seems as though he wants a default more than he wants a deal,” he added.
Later Sunday, the congressman reiterated his stance at a press conference and said, “The president keeps changing positions; every time Bernie Sanders has a press conference, he gets reactive, and he shifts.”
“He’s got to get away from the socialist wing of the Democratic Party and represent America; that means both sides have to have compromise,” McCarthy argued.
On social media, he stated that he had spoken with Biden ahead of the president’s return from Japan to no avail. “Just got off the phone with the president while he’s out of the county. My position has not changed. Washington cannot continue to spend money we do not have at the expense of children and grandchildren. Tomorrow, he and I will meet in person to continue negotiations.”
Just got off the phone with the president while he’s out of the country.
My position has not changed. Washington cannot continue to spend money we do not have at the expense of children and grandchildren.
Tomorrow, he and I will meet in person to continue negotiations.
— Kevin McCarthy (@SpeakerMcCarthy) May 21, 2023
The speaker had honed in on what needs to be accomplished and contended to Bartiromo that spending and borrowing from foreign nations need to be reigned in, “We can solve this problem and make our economy stronger. Curve inflation and be less dependent on China and really focus on American problems with American solutions.”
Meanwhile, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) disabused Democrats of their 14th Amendment stance on “Fox News Sunday” when he told host Shannon Bream, “I think Biden’s position on the 14th Amendment is legally frivolous,” as it “refers to the Civil War that we had just fought and paying those war debts off.”
He also noted that a near-term solution would be to simply pay the interest on the debt, but Democrats stand in opposition to that because, “What they want is not to pay the interest on the debt, what they want to do is they want to pay the $6 trillion in other government spending, and there’s nothing in the 14th Amendment that give them the power to do that.”
“It really is unfortunate to see how Joe Biden is approaching this job. It’s all politics all the time, and he consistently goes to the hard left,” Cruz added.
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