Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-N.Y., told Newsmax on Wednesday that although the debt limit deal reached between House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and President Joe Biden is not the best deal, it has enough going forward for her to support it.
Tenney, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, told "American Agenda" Republicans do not have negotiating leverage with Democrats, who control the White House and Senate; so even though this deal is not perfect, it is a good start going forward.
"In this bill, we have basically a pair of twos and the Democrats, including [Senate Majority Leader] Chuck Schumer and the White House, have a royal flush," she said. "Anything that we can get out of this deal to get them to go with us to get [energy infrastructure] permitting reform, which is critical to everywhere but New York because we don't allow our natural gas to be extracted in the state of New York, which is devastating us."
Tenney said the deal expands some federal work requirements for those seeking food stamps and other federal safety net assistance, except Medicaid. She said one of the most important things the bill does not include are tax increases.
"We also averted what Joe Biden really wants to do is raise taxes," Tenney said. "I come home to my district [in upstate New York] every weekend, and people are suffering. We have huge amounts of debt. We have huge amounts of spending. We flooded our marketplace with the Fed with cash. Inflation, high energy costs are hurting our constituents.
"We also have a lot of people in my state who are dependent on special services, like veterans and people with special needs and seniors who want the United States debt not to be crashed and burned by a bill."
Tenney said former President Donald Trump negotiated a clean debt ceiling bill in 2019 with Congress that ended up increasing new spending by $6.5 trillion. She said this new deal boosts new spending by $4 trillion.
"We can't control what the Democrats are doing; but what we can do is, going forward, control the appropriations process," she said. "So this is step 1. I see a lot of good stuff in here."
She said she agrees with what Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., one of the most fiscally conservative members in Congress who supports the deal, told her Tuesday: "I woke up this morning as an engineer and as a problem-solver, and I said I should vote yes. As a politician, I would vote no."
"I really believe what he's saying is at this point, we don't have a lot of leverage. And we've got to go to step 2, and us sticking together against the Democrats is critical," she said.
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