Republican Senate leaders have once again put their hypocrisy on full display as we approach the debt ceiling deadline and are making clear they are willing to force the country to default on its debt for purely political purposes. Based on their commentary, you would bet Senate Republicans have always been consistent on the debt limit, right?
Well if they were we wouldn’t be here.
During Donald Trump’s four years in office, a majority of Senate Republicans voted to raise or suspend the debt limit three times as Trump added nearly $8 trillion to the national debt.
- Washington Post: “Senate Republicans on Wednesday threatened to vote against an increase to the debt ceiling unless Congress first agrees to new spending cuts or other measures […] The new ultimatum marked a reversal for Republicans, who agreed to address the debt ceiling — the statutory amount the government can borrow to pay its bills — multiple times to advance policies under President Donald Trump that helped add $7 trillion to the federal debt during his term.”
- CBS News: “Democrats joined Republicans three times during the Trump administration to raise the ceiling, calling it ‘Trump debt.’ The national debt was just under $20 trillion when President Donald Trump took office and more than $27 trillion when he left office earlier this year.”
During the Trump administration, Republicans, including then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, admitted it was necessary to raise the debt limit and supported agreements to do so.
- Then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2017 via CNBC: “‘There is zero chance — no chance — we won’t raise the debt ceiling. No chance,’ McConnell said at an event in Kentucky with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. ‘America’s not going to default. And we’ll get the job done in conjunction with the secretary of the Treasury.’”
But Republicans have a track record of playing politics with the national debt and this time is no different.
- Donald Trump in a 2011 Fox & Friends interview: “Frankly the Republicans would be crazy unless they get 100 percent of the deal that they want right now to make any deal. […] And he can’t get elected. If this happens — for instance, if this stuff is going on prior to an election, he can’t get elected. He possibly can’t get elected anyway if they choose the right candidate which is a big if […] When it comes time to default, they’re not going to remember any of the Republicans’ names. They are going to remember in history books one name, and that’s Obama.”
- Huffington Post: “McConnell foreshadowed a new fight over the nation’s borrowing limit this summer, saying Tuesday that the only time President Barack Obama gets ‘serious’ is when Republicans use the debt ceiling to drag him ‘kicking and screaming’ into negotiations […] McConnell’s remarks Tuesday on Capitol Hill suggested the GOP will hold its fire until the summer, when, like in 2011, the country could once again face a historic default if Congress doesn’t raise the borrowing cap.”