WASHINGTON, DC — Increasingly unreasonable demands, disingenuous rhetoric, and shifting goal posts from the MAGA House Majority are the central factors in whether or not the nation falls into a catastrophic default crisis just 8 days from now, with a deep recession hot on its heels. Or as the Washington Post puts it, Republicans in Congress are ‘unite[d] in brinkmanship over default’ after ‘rejecting Biden compromises.’
One side of the negotiating table is trying to responsibly pay the nation’s bill and avoid a needless recession without harmful cuts to programs everyday veterans, seniors and families count on. And the MAGA Majority side is determined to drive the nation off a cliff, whether it’s literally calling the U.S. economy ‘our hostage’, taking an all-or-nothing stance on nightmarish cuts in the House bill, circling the wagons around indefensible tax loopholes and wealthy tax cheats, moving goal posts with new extreme demands, or downplaying the consequences of default. House Republicans offer only two options: a default crisis or devastating cuts, and either way millions of average Americans are left worse off than before. The MAGA House Majority has manufactured this crisis every step of the way, with some even openly admitting it. ”
Liz Zelnick, Director of Accountable.US’ Economic Security & Corporate Power.
A new analysis from government watchdog Accountable.US highlights the increasingly unreasonable and recalcitrant positions of House Republicans that threaten any bipartisan compromise to avoid default as the economy careens towards the cliff, including:
1) EXTREME ECONOMIC HOSTAGE DEMANDS: House Republicans have refused to vote on a bill allowing the nation to pay its bills without harmful strings attached, just as they did 3 times during the Trump administration. Instead the MAGA Majority passed an unreasonable and unpassable default bill that punishes millions of low-income veterans, seniors and children while undermining public safety, costing 8 million Americans their jobs, and letting wealthy tax cheats off the hook.
2) HOSTAGE-TAKING RHETORIC: Freedom Caucus member Matt Gaetz openly called the U.S. economy “our hostage” to get the extreme, harmful, job-killing cuts passed in the House default bill.
3) DOWNPLAYING DEFAULT: Key House Republicans including Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA), Patrick McHenry (R-NC), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Ralph Norman (R-SC) have all downplayed the urgency of default by casting doubt on U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s projection the government will run out of money as soon as June 1st — even though Yellen is the foremost authority in the world on the matter.
4) OUR WAY OR THE HIGHWAY: Reps. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) and Garret Graves (R-LA) stated Republicans would only offer a raised debt ceiling to Democrats in negotiations, with Graves saying “‘that’s what they’re getting.’” – i.e, acting as if letting Democrats in Congress carry out their shared responsibility to pay the nation’s bills is somehow a compromise.
5) REJECTING COMMON SENSE COMPROMISE: Speaker McCarthy rejected all options from the White House to raise revenues to address debt, including closing indefensible tax loopholes for those who deserve them least. Meanwhile, the Speaker has endorsed the Republican tax plan to add $3.5 trillion more to the debt by making permanent Trump-era tax breaks for billionaires and big corporations.
6) EXTREME RED LINES: Fringe-right Freedom Caucus members like Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC) continue to insist they will not accept anything less than the extreme House default bill to avoid default, while Speaker McCarthy has stated any debt deal must include ineffective work requirements that fail to put people to work while leaving many more uninsured.
7) MOVING GOAL POSTS: After the House passed their extreme default bill, some Republicans like Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) Said have demanded the goal posts be moved even further by ramming “border policies in the mix” as a new contingent to avoiding default.
8) TAKING CUES FROM OBSTRUCTIONISTS: House Republicans have brought disgraced Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows into the negotiating fold who is best known for obstruction.
BACKGROUND: Accountable.US’ ‘Cost of MAGA Default’ project has put a daily spotlight on specific harms the MAGA Majority’s default plan and brinkmanship will bring for Main Street and Wall Street alike – from tanking markets, frozen credit, lost jobs, disruptions to critical benefits like Social Security, and soaring interest rates on everything from car loans to mortgages. While the MAGA Majority claims they are holding the economy hostage over supposed debt ‘concerns,’ they insist on harmful cuts – crafted by the far-right House Freedom Caucus – aimed at average Americans while protecting and even expanding debt ballooning tax breaks for billionaires and big corporations that profiteer and ship U.S. jobs overseas. The clock is ticking. The MAGA majority should stop playing dangerous political games with American lives and the economy and responsibly pass a clean bill that allows the nation to pay its bills. The sooner they do, the less damage will be inflicted on Americans of all walks of life.
The extreme MAGA House Majority is threatening to manufacture a catastrophic default crisis and economic collapse. To hold the economy hostage, the House passed a long list of hugely unpopular and extreme ransom demands that promise pain for millions of average Americans including veterans, seniors, students, children, workers, and the food insecure. They voted to ship 100,000 high paying manufacturing jobs overseas while going out of their way to protect wealthy tax cheats that shift costs onto average Americans. The MAGA Majority’s proposed cuts that especially punish the poor and untenable, unworkable, and unreasonable, especially as they leave in place costly tax breaks for billionaires and big corporations. They’ve drawn “red lines” that any debt deal must include ineffective work requirements that fail to put people to work while leaving many more uninsured. With the nation now projected to run out of money as early as June 1st, Accountable.US’ Cost Of MAGA Default’ project continues to underscore the catastrophic consequences of a MAGA default that grows closer by the day.