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Tags: house | gop | debt | ceiling | democrats | entitlements | social security

House GOP Prioritizing Entitlements in Race to Avoid Debt-Limit Default

By    |   Monday, 16 January 2023 08:17 PM EST

The Republicans own a 10-seat advantage in Congress, which means — ready or not — they will be tasked with helping America stay under the debt ceiling (before Thursday's deadline) and not defaulting on a federal debt of $31.4 trillion.

As such, difficult decisions, or cuts, must be made by House Republicans, regarding some of the annual budget's most popular entitlements.

According to the Washington Examiner, Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare account for roughly two-thirds of annual federal expenditures. But Republicans still see these benefits as untouchables.

"What we have been very clear about is we're not going to touch the benefits that are going to people relying on the benefits under Social Security and Medicare," Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas told CNN last week.

"But we all have to be honest about sitting at the table and figuring out how we're going to make those work, how we're going to deal with defense spending, and how we're going to deal with nondefense discretionary spending," Roy added.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., was a little more rigid in his assessment of avoiding the debt ceiling.

"The one thing I will tell you, as Republicans, we will always protect Medicare and Social Security," McCarthy told reporters. "We will protect that for the next generation going forward. But we are going to scrutinize every single dollar spent."

Only time will tell if the House Republicans prioritize cuts from the Pentagon's budget, or minimizing funds directed to Ukraine's war against Russia.

The same holds true for whether the GOP might favor intentionally withholding votes to raise the federal statutory borrowing limit (debt ceiling), once the Treasury Department has "paid its bills on time," according to the Examiner.

However it shakes out, though, the Republicans will need to get creative to back up their campaign pledges of being more efficient with government spending.

"The strategy can't just be hoping that Democrats blink first. In the past, Republicans have assumed that eventually the Democrats would fold. But it turns out they're not going to compromise — they don't feel like they have to," Alex Conant, a Republican operative and founding partner of the Washington, D.C.-based Firehouse Strategies, told the Examiner.

"If Republicans are going to go down this path, they have to have a very clear sense of how it plays out," Conant added.

President Joe Biden seemingly does not have much confidence in the House Republicans brainstorming a better way to manage the government's finances.

"They're fiscally demented," Biden told reporters Monday. "They don't quite get it."

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US
The Republicans own a 10-seat advantage in Congress, which means - ready or not - they will be tasked with helping America stay under the debt ceiling (before Thursday's deadline) and not defaulting on a federal debt of $31.4 trillion.
house, gop, debt, ceiling, democrats, entitlements, social security, medicare, medicaid
423
2023-17-16
Monday, 16 January 2023 08:17 PM
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