Karine Jean-Pierre claims Republicans are threatening to “kill millions of jobs and 401,000 plans” by holding the $31 TRILLION debt limit hostage as the clock ticks until the Treasury Department must take “extraordinary action.”
- Republicans say they will only agree to raising the debt ceiling if it’s accompanied by federal cuts
- The White House went into battle with a series of attacks on Wednesday
- Karine Jean-Pierre said Biden would not allow the GOP to “hold the economy hostage.”
- It comes as the US was expected to hit its $31 trillion debt ceiling on Thursday
The White House on Wednesday accused Republicans of using the economy as a hostage to the debt limit to impose drastic spending cuts that would hurt ordinary Americans.
The US will hit the debt ceiling on Thursday, with Congress now tasked with staving off a catastrophic default that could hit in June.
But that will require an agreement to raise the $31 trillion debt ceiling, something die-hard Republicans will only agree to when it comes to spending cuts and changes in President Joe Biden’s policies.
The White House went on the offensive on Wednesday.
“They threaten to destroy millions of jobs and 401,000 plans by trying to hold the debt ceiling hostage unless they can cut Social Security, cut Medicare, cut Medicaid,” press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during her regular briefings
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Wednesday accused Republicans of using the economy as a hostage to secure drastic spending cuts that would hurt Americans
“On that last point, the President has made it clear that he will not allow Republicans to hold the economy hostage or make working Americans pay the price for their schemes to benefit the wealthiest Americans as well as special interests.” “
The Treasury Department last week warned the nation it would hit its debt ceiling on Thursday, forcing it to take “extraordinary measures” to avert a default.
These workarounds will likely allow the government to pay its bills well into June.
But without raising the debt ceiling in the meantime, the result would still be a default, the federal government unable to pay workers, raise interest rates and send the stock market into freefall with economic shockwaves echoing on the wall.
Some Republicans see an opportunity to curb what they see as wasteful spending by Democrats.
Hardliners like Rep. Andy Biggs have said they don’t want the debt ceiling raised
He said Democrats must grapple with the consequences of “negligent” spending of taxpayers’ money
Some Democrats wanted President Biden and the Democrats themselves to push through an increase in the debt ceiling before handing control of the House of Representatives over to Republicans
Rep. Andy Biggs, an Arizona Republican, said on Twitter that he does not support increasing the debt
“We cannot raise the debt ceiling,” he wrote.
“Democrats have recklessly spent our taxpayer money and devalued our currency.
“They made their bed, so they must be in it.”
That drew a scathing response from the White House.
“A default would unnecessarily plunge the country into economic chaos, collapse and disaster while giving our competitors like China a historic boost against us,” said spokesman Andrew Bates.
“That’s why Congressional Republicans — with strong bipartisan support from Democrats — have avoided a default three times under Donald Trump without strings attached or playing on our credit ratings.
“This President and the American people will not condone unprecedented economic vandalism. Point.’
The US will hit the debt ceiling on January 19, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told Congress. “Once the limit is reached, the Treasury Department must take certain exceptional measures to prevent the United States from defaulting on its commitments,” she said
Mark your calendars: Yellen said the ‘extraordinary measures’ would likely expire in June
Most Republicans don’t go as far as Biggs.
They have said they will agree to raising the debt ceiling, but only if Democrats commit to significant spending cuts.
As House Speaker Kevin McCarthy put it: “If you gave your kid a credit card and they kept hitting the limit, you wouldn’t just keep increasing it.
“You would sit down with them to find out where they are overspending and where they can change their behavior. It is about time the federal government did the same.”
Jean-Pierre said that was not on the table, again pointing to a deal under Trump and that the results of the midterm elections – when an expected red wave failed to materialize – suggested Republicans did not have the upper hand.
“It’s something that should be done without strings attached,” she said.
“We shouldn’t negotiate around it.”