MAGA Debt Limit Weaponization Threatens Economy, Social Security, Veterans Benefits, Border & Food Safety

McCarthy’s Backroom Deals Empowering MAGA Reps to Threaten Cuts to Social Security, Medicare In Exchange For Raising Debt Ceiling 

MAGA Forcing Debt Default Will Endanger Seniors, Veterans, Kids 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As a result of MAGA politicians’ refusal to raise the debt limit without gutting programs like Social Security and Medicare, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen today announced that the Treasury will begin taking “extraordinary measures” to prevent the U.S. from defaulting on our national debt — an event that would plunge the U.S. and global economies into an unprecedented crisis.

“Let’s be clear about what’s happening here: Speaker McCarthy made a deal with the most extreme MAGA members of his conference to hold the entire economy hostage over their ravenous desire to cut programs like Social Security and Medicare,” Zac Petkanas, senior advisor to the House Accountability War Room. “Their dangerous brinkmanship will lead this country to a default, meaning Social Security, Medicare and veterans benefits get frozen, border security is scaled back and food safety inspection ceases. The MAGA right needs to end their political tantrum and do what they did three times under the Trump Administration: vote to avoid default without demanding deep cuts that hurt seniors, veterans and children.”

4 Things Americans Need to Know About Republican Weaponization of Debt Limit

  • Social Security, Medicare, veterans’ benefits, and more are being held hostage. 
    • If the MAGA House majority forces the U.S. to default, elderly Americans won’t get their Social Security checks or Medicare benefits, federal workers won’t get paid, and veterans will lose benefits they rely on.
    • Other communities — including low income Americans, kids, and teachers — are also at greater risk. Medicaid, food safety inspections, border control and air traffic control would also be at risk if the U.S. were to default, to name just a handful of thousands of programs.
  • Meanwhile, MAGA Republicans are working to protect federal bondholders and the wealthy from the crisis they’ve manufactured — at the expense of the rest of us.
    • The plan would reportedly prioritize interest payments to bondholders (who tend to be wealthy and/or foreign investors)while leaving out programs that are critical to American voters, including — but not limited to — Medicaid, food safety inspections, border control, and air traffic control.
  • MAGA Republicans’ ability to hold Americans’ livelihoods hostage over the debt limit is a direct result of concessions McCarthy made to become Speaker.
    • Republicans “largely abandoned their push to tie increases in the limit to cuts in federal spending” during the Trump administration, voting three times to raise the limit without strings.
    • But Speaker McCarthy agreed to allow MAGA reps to hold the debt ceiling hostage as part of the package of concessions he made to become Speaker. McCarthy promised cuts of at least $130 billion in the next fiscal year – which experts say must include cuts to social programs Americans want and need to make the math work.
    • The rule change gives MAGA Republicans a green light to make extreme political demands in exchange for preventing the U.S. from defaulting.
  • MAGA Republicans have made it clear that cuts to Social Security, Medicare are on the table. 
    • Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA): “Our main focus has got to be on nondiscretionary — it’s got to be on entitlements… I wouldn’t describe [cuts to discretionary spending] as a distraction, but I’m not sure it’s where our main focus should be.”
    • Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-TX), the incoming chair of the House Budget Committee, favors significant cuts to Medicare and Social Security. Arrington wants to raise the ages of eligibility for both programs, and said that he does not believe that cutting Social Security will be popular, but, “There are a lot of tough decisions for all of us to make across the board. The rubber will meet the road with the real decisions about bending the curve on spending and reforming programs.”
    • The Republican Study Committee, which counts 75% of the Republican caucus as members, has proposed cuts to Social Security and Medicare. The Study Committee’s “Blueprint to Save America” would raise the ages of eligibility for both programs, and privatize Medicare by converting it to a means-tested voucher program.
    • Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA): “We’re going to have to look at the whole board… The easiest to start with is discretionary, but the main driver of the national debt is the mandatory… Everything’s on the table.”
    • Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX): “Who says it’s clean? That’s [the Freedom Caucus’s] point. They don’t want [a clean debt ceiling increase]. They want constructive things like we’ve done in the past,” referring to the 2011 Budget Control Act, which imposed caps on discretionary spending and established sequestration, the automatic reduction of certain mandatory spending programs.
    • Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC), told reporters that one of his “non-negotiable” conditions for supporting McCarthy was that McCarthy be “willing to shut the government down rather than raise the debt ceiling.”