House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is under fire from conservatives for his negotiations with President Joe Biden on the debt ceiling, but former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., praised McCarthy's ability to leverage a deal.
"Look at it this way: Kevin McCarthy got more out of this debt-ceiling fight than any previous speaker on the Republican side," Santorum told Newsmax's "Wake Up America" on Tuesday. "The reality is, this was well-played from the beginning."
House Republican leadership was "able to pass a bill," he said. "They had messaging that was solid. They asked for specific things. And they asked for things that were very popular — work requirements.
"But don't underestimate the power of work requirements. You're talking to the guy who helped author the 1996 Welfare Reform bill that instituted work requirements and the Obama-Biden administration weakened those work requirements over time.
"This reinstitutes and expands work requirements, which is going to save money, but much more importantly, is going to save lives. It's going to get people back to work and appreciate the value of earned success and really change the dynamic in the workplace.
"Look, they didn't get everything. But you don't go into negotiation and say, I have to have everything. You have to compromise, and he did. And I think this is a very good step. If was a member of the House, I would be voting for this.
Asked how the debt ceiling will play out in the Senate, if it passes the House, Santorum said, "McCarthy should say to Joe Biden: I'm going to deliver a majority of Republicans for this bill. You need to deliver a majority of Democrats for this bill."
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., should vow to deliver the same thing, Santorum concluded.
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Jeffrey Rodack ✉
Jeffrey Rodack, who has nearly a half century in news as a senior editor and city editor for national and local publications, has covered politics for Newsmax for nearly seven years.
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