Barely Speaker Kevin McCarthy surprisingly got his disaster of a debt ceiling and funding cuts plan passed Wednesday in the House of Representatives. In the process, he proved that he’ll tell anybody anything they want to hear in order to get his win. He also showed that the last thing he intends to do is protect the fiscal health of the United States. In fact, his actions could imply that he’s actually rooting for a default.
The New York Times has one story about McCarthy’s backroom wheeling and dealing to secure the votes of the non-maniacs: “Beseeching his colleagues privately to back the bill, Mr. McCarthy repeatedly told them to ignore the substance of the measure, which would never become law, and instead focus on the symbolic victory of passing any legislation to show Mr. Biden they were serious about their demand for spending cuts.”
He was telling the Freedom Caucus maniacs something very different in separate private meetings, according to what South Carolina Rep. Ralph Norman told Politico. “McCarthy promised conservatives late Tuesday night that the debt ceiling bill they voted on yesterday was a floor, not a ceiling. McCarthy, he said, told them he would personally oppose and fight against any debt ceiling agreement that doesn’t include all of the red-meat provisions in the House bill.”
Norman wanted to make sure that message really got out there, telling CNN, “What Kevin has assured us is he’s not coming back and presenting a watered-down version.” He told NBC News this package is “the bare minimum” he’d accept in order to vote for the bill raising the debt ceiling.
Promising the Freedom Caucus that he’d hold the line, while telling everyone else that it was a symbolic vote that would never become law? Which is it, Kev?
That’s not really a mystery: He’ll always go with the Freedom Caucus. The bill he passed on Wednesday is largely indistinguishable from the list of demands the maniacs gave him in March, from slashing the operating budgets for all non-defense programs to repealing most of Biden’s accomplishments of the past two years.
He’ll do whatever the Freedom Caucus tells him to do, because they’re the ones who brought him to this dance. He knows his speaker’s gavel is only on loan from them, and they can take it away.
This bill wasn’t about making sure that the nation doesn’t default on its debts, or saving the national or global economy. In fact, it’s about sticking it to Biden and damaging the economy. The closer the nation comes to breaching the debt ceiling, the more jittery trading partners, investors, and markets become. The worse the economy, Republicans are betting, the better shot they have against Biden and the Democrats in 2024.
To hell with whoever gets trampled along the way, including all those so-called moderates who got conned into voting for the maniacs’ “symbolic” bill.
The past week seems to have packed in a month’s worth of news. Markos and Kerry tackle it all, from Joe Biden’s big announcement to Tucker Carlson’s early retirement from Fox News.