Washington D.C. – Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s speech on Wall Street this week was such an empty political stunt that he failed to even convince members of his own caucus to go along with his nebulous economic ransom demands – cuts hurting seniors, patients, veterans, students and the food insecure – in exchange for not deliberately forcing the nation into a default crisis and recession. Axios reports “a half-dozen House Republicans, more than enough to sink the bill, said they are still not sold.”

Among McCarthy’s unserious demands: gutting resources in the Inflation Reduction Act for holding wealthy tax cheats accountable, which the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found would add $114.4 billion to the deficit over a decade.

Speaker McCarthy has wasted precious time trying to corral the MAGA House Majority over which economic hostage demands to make in exchange for not manufacturing a default crisis. MAGA extremists can’t even agree on which Americans to punish more in the process as they shamelessly propose trillions of dollars in new deficit-exploding tax breaks for profiteering corporations and their billionaire donors. Not a single House Republican has said big corporations should contribute a dime more toward their supposed debt ‘concerns’. And the Speaker has certainly not won over the public with his lose-lose proposition: either cuts that leave Americans with less economic, retirement and health security – or a default that crashes the economy and disrupts benefits for seniors and veterans.

If the Speaker doesn’t want to go down as the first to usher in a catastrophic default that will crater the economy and deprive seniors of Social Security, he should immediately put a clean bill on the floor allowing the nation to pay its bills,” added Zelnick. “Speaker McCarthy has already admitted the looming default crisis begins and ends with the MAGA majority. The next step is being fully responsible for the economy’s well-being and allowing the nation to pay its bills without attaching harmful cuts aimed at everyday Americans.” 

Liz Zelnick, Director of Accountable.US’ Economic Security & Corporate Power program.
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