Profiles in Leadership: McCarthy Passes Buck to Own Lieutenants in Looming Debt Default Crisis
This week Speaker Kevin McCarthy made clear he has no idea how to get out of the mess he made by opposing a clean and standard debt limit increase — no matter the staggering consequences default would bring for the economy and working families. In clear desperation, the Speaker has resorted to preemptively blaming his own top lieutenants and warning his Wall Street donors to brace themselves for a default crisis while not bothering to put forward any plan of his own to avoid economic catastrophe. While the U.S. Treasury projects the nation will not be able to pay its bills as early as June, the Speaker has dithered as House Republicans have fought amongst themselves over what non-starter economic ransom demands to make, including deep and unpopular cuts targeting everyday American workers, patients, and seniors – all while preserving trillions of dollars in wasteful Trump tax breaks for billionaires and profiteering corporations.
Speaker McCarthy knows the MAGA House majority’s artificial debt default crisis will crush Main Street and Wall Street alike – yet he has no plan to avoid it. The Speaker would rather placate MAGA extremists in Congress who insist on deep cuts to Social Security and Medicare benefits rather than act responsibly to avoid driving the economy off the cliff. The Speaker is apparently so bereft of leadership that he’s already desperate to pass the buck. McCarthy admitting he's a poor and irresponsible leader will spare him none of the blame from Americans when they lose their jobs, interest rates soar, and markets crash as a direct result of MAGA House economic sabotage.”
Liz Zelnick, Director of government watchdog Accountable.US’ Economic Security & Corporate Power program
- Reuters: ‘McCarthy’s Message to Wall Street: You Should Worry About the US Debt Ceiling’: “We are never going to move a bill that just raises the debt ceiling,” McCarthy said. […] McCarthy didn’t provide details of any emerging Republican deficit-reducing proposal they want in exchange for votes to raise the nation’s borrowing ceiling.
- New York Times: Staring Down a Debt Crisis, McCarthy Toils to Navigate G.O.P. Divisions: Their promises of balancing the federal budget in 10 years have gone by the wayside, a budget plan has yet to materialize, and they cannot agree on what spending cuts to demand in exchange for raising the debt limit.
Mr. McCarthy has told colleagues he has no confidence in Mr. Arrington, the man responsible for delivering a budget framework laying out the spending cuts that Republicans have said they will demand in exchange for any move to increase the debt limit.
Aside from the perceived disloyalty, Mr. McCarthy regards Mr. Arrington, a former official in the George W. Bush administration, as incompetent, according to more than half a dozen people familiar with his thinking, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations.