Democrats To Biden: Stop Dodging Responsibility And Negotiate On The Debt Limit

More Democrats In Congress Are Urging President Biden To Meet With Speaker McCarthy: ‘Get It Done For The Sake Of The Country’


SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): President Biden Refusing To Meet With Speaker McCarthy ‘Signals A Deficiency Of Leadership, And It Must Change’

SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): “America is facing a historic economic crisis brought on by an abject failure to address our exploding national debt, chronic inflation, a looming recession, and the more immediate need to raise the debt ceiling. Our elected leaders must stop with the political games, work together and negotiate a compromise. Instead, it has been more than 78 days since President Biden last met with Speaker McCarthy. This signals a deficiency of leadership, and it must change. The fact is we are long past time for our elected leaders to sit down and discuss how to solve this impending debt ceiling crisis. While it is reasonable to sincerely disagree with any specific debt ceiling approach, we will achieve a historic default, and the economic whirlwind which follows, if President Biden continues to refuse to even negotiate a reasonable and commonsense compromise. To that end, I applaud Speaker McCarthy for putting forward a proposal that would prevent default and rein in federal spending. While I do not agree with everything proposed, the fact of the matter is that it is the only bill actually moving through Congress that would prevent default. For the sake of the country, I urge President Biden to come to the table, propose a plan for real and substantive spending cuts and deficit reduction, and negotiate now. Failing to do so may score political points with the extremes of the Democratic Party, but make no mistake, it will be the American people – and our nation – who will pay the ultimate price if partisan politics continues to define our politics and policies.” (Sen. Manchin, Press Release, 4/20/2023)


House Democrats: ‘They Ought To Get To Work And Get It Done For The Sake Of The Country,’ ‘Of Course They Should’ ‘Sit Down And Talk About The Debt Ceiling,’ And ‘They’ve Got To Do It Soon’ Because The White House ‘Can’t Keep Waiting’

“President Joe Biden immediately rejected Kevin McCarthy‘s opening debt-limit proposal, but it prompted movement elsewhere: A growing number of House Democrats want party leaders to restart negotiations…. [A] growing contingent of Democrats are acknowledging that Biden’s blanket refusal to engage with McCarthy may need to change …” (“House Dems Call On Biden To Meet With Mccarthy On Debt Limit,” Politico, 4/20/2023)


FLASHBACK: In 2017, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) Thought It Was Perfectly Acceptable For Both Parties To Negotiate Over The Debt Ceiling And Budgeting Together

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): “What’s our leverage?... We only had one thing as leverage at that point, which was the debt ceiling.” (“‘The New Washington’: How Schumer’s Power Play Led to a Deal With Trump,” The New York Times, 9/09/2017)

  • “In concert with Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the House Democratic leader, Mr. Schumer began formulating a plan to apply pressure, jettisoning the idea of backing a straightforward, or ‘clean,’ debt limit measure and settling instead on the idea of a short-term three-month increase. They saw that model as a way to gain muscle in coming negotiations toward a more comprehensive year-end legislative package. With another debt limit deadline looming, Mr. Trump and Republican leaders would again need Democratic votes.” (“‘The New Washington’: How Schumer’s Power Play Led to a Deal With Trump,” The New York Times, 9/09/2017)

QUESTION: “You talked a lot in the past about the dangers of uncertainty for the economy. Wouldn't a longer-term debt ceiling have created less uncertainty?”
SCHUMER: “No. … But the bottom line is we have a lot of issues to come together on. It -- you almost always works out best in a bipartisan way when we can do those issues together. And so having the debt ceiling and funding of government expire at the same time gives another ample opportunity for bipartisanship, not for one party jamming its choices down the throats of the other.” (Sen. Schumer, Press Conference, 9/06/2017)


And Joe Biden Once Considered It Completely Reasonable To Use The Need To Increase The Debt Limit As ‘A Protest Of The Policies That Have Brought Us To This Point’

THEN-SEN. JOE BIDEN (D-DE), 2006: “The tsunami of debt created by the policies of this administration has to go somewhere. … But as the rest of the world copes with the waves of U.S. debt, we are now all in the same leaky boat. There is just so much of our debt other nations want to hold. The more of it they accumulate, the closer we are to the day when they will not want any more. When that happens, slowly or rapidly, our interest rates will go up, the value of their U.S. bonds will drop, and we will all have big problems. We need both more awareness, and more understanding, of this fundamental threat to our economic well being and the global economy. But the roots of that threat lie in the disastrous policies of this administration. Because this massive accumulation of debt was predicted, because it was foreseeable, because it was unnecessary, because it was the result of willful and reckless disregard for the warnings that were given and for the fundamentals of economic management, I am voting against the debt limit increase. In the 5 years he has been in office, President Bush has added more to our foreign debt that the 42 Presidents before him. … But he refused to take responsibility for his policies. He refused to admit that a changed world demanded a change of course. His refusal has pushed us deeper and deeper into the hole. … My vote against the debt limit increase cannot change the fact that we have incurred this debt already, and will no doubt incur more. It is a statement that I refuse to be associated with the policies that brought us to this point.” (Sen. Biden, Congressional Record, S2239-2240, 3/16/2006)

BIDEN, 2004: “I was not able to participate in today’s debate and vote on the extension of the national debt limit. I was attending the funeral of a great civil rights leader in Delaware, Jane E. Mitchell. Had I been here to vote, Mr. President, I would have cast a symbolic vote against an extension of the debt limit. Today’s fiscal mess, the transformation of historic surpluses into record deficits, is not an accident. It is the inevitable outcome of policies that consistently ignored evidence and experience. When we launched out on a course of tax cutting, with expanding domestic and international obligations and responsibilities, many of us in Congress argued that we could not afford to do everything, that we needed a fiscal policy that matched our revenues with our expenditures. … We are here today because that advice was ignored, those hard choices were ducked, and the bill for our decisions will be sent to our children and grandchildren, in the form of the additional debt we will authorize today. It did not have to be this way, Mr. President. In the next Congress, the threat of massive deficits, which have made us increasingly dependent of foreign lenders to stay afloat, will still be with us. My symbolic vote against raising the debt limit would have been a protest of the policies that have brought us to this point, and a demand that we change course.” (Sen. Biden, Congressional Record, S11418, 11/17/2004)




Related Issues: Senate Democrats, Debt And Deficits, House Democrats