President Biden has made clear for weeks that Congress must act to prevent default. Earlier this week, the President met with the four Congressional leaders at the White House, where they agreed to move forward on a bipartisan budget framework. Following that meeting, the President assigned an experienced negotiating team and directed them to act in good faith to reach an agreement. But now, Republicans are taking the economy hostage and pushing us to the brink of default, which could cost millions of jobs and tip the country into recession after two years of steady job and wage growth.
Republicans are recycling a barely watered down version of their extreme budget proposal that would eliminate 100,000 jobs for teachers and support staff, cut 2,000 law enforcement positions and could put the health care coverage for millions of Americans at risk at the same time as Republicans would extend tax breaks for the wealthiest and corporations. The Republican position is especially galling given that the debt increased by 40% under President Trump and those same tax breaks cost taxpayers $2 trillion. And Republicans are even trying once again to reward tax cheats by gutting funding for the IRS.
Any serious budget negotiation must include discussion both of spending and of revenues, but Republicans have refused to discuss revenue. President Biden has lowered the deficit by $1.7 trillion in his first two years in office with this balanced approach and proposed a budget that would cut the deficit by an additional $3 trillion. Republicans, however, are focused on pulling the rug out from under hardworking Americans instead of considering the President’s proposal to cut wasteful spending and cut the deficit by eliminating subsidies for oil and gas companies and pharma and asking the wealthiest to pay their fair share.
There remains a path forward to arrive at a reasonable bipartisan agreement if Republicans come back to the table to negotiate in good faith. But President Biden will not accept a wish list of extreme MAGA priorities that would punish the middle class and neediest Americans and set our economic progress back.