Washington D.C. – With the federal government expected to reach its borrowing limit today, MAGA House extremists are already threatening to hold the economy hostage and jeopardize  the nation’s prior debt obligations unless their demands are met for deep cuts to social safety nets – including Social Security and Medicare benefits. Before the U.S. Treasury exhausts “extraordinary measures” it can take to avoid default, government watchdog Accountable.US calls on House Republicans to take responsibility for the debt exacerbated by most of them under the Trump tax cuts for greedy corporations: by passing a clean debt limit increase, not demanding more sacrifice from America’s seniors and working poor.

Social Security and Medicare Absolutely on the Chopping Block: A growing number of MAGA Republicans have said the quiet part aloud about their true intentions with the looming debt limit fight. Republican Rep. Rick Allen (R-GA) recently suggested cutting Social Security is a good idea because “people want to work longer”. Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL) exclaimed on national TV: “If we really want to talk about the debt and spending, it’s the entitlements programs.” The Republican Study Committee—“The largest group of House Republicans”— released a 2023 budget calling for several cuts to Medicare And Social Security, including increasing the eligibility age to 67 for Medicare and 70 for Social Security. But most importantly, when Speaker Kevin McCarthy was asked point blank if he intended to ‘reform entitlements’ as part of debt ceiling negotiations, McCarthy tellingly demurred he wouldn’t “predetermine” anything – in other words, benefit cuts are on the table. 

Whether or not the nation suffers a default crisis that could crush jobs is entirely up to MAGA extremists in Congress. The MAGA majority could vote today to meet the nation’s prior debt obligations but instead a growing number want to manufacture a crisis to cut apart social safety nets for the most vulnerable Americans. Make no mistake: MAGA extremists plan to use national debt they exacerbated with tax breaks for billionaires and profiteering corporations as an excuse to gut Social Security and Medicare benefits for America’s seniors and working people. They’re dusting off an old conservative playbook: make everyone else pay for their reckless giveaways to wealthy special interests.

Suppose MAGA extremists like Rick Allen have their way. In that case, senior citizens, including those who do physically demanding jobs, will have to tough it out for a few more years before retirement. That’s the ultimate Social Security and Medicare benefit cut. Why should seniors have to shoulder the consequences of MAGA tax cuts for the rich?”

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