(CNSNews.com) - Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D.-N.Y.) took to the Senate floor yesterday to warn Americans that the Republicans who control the House of Representatives are “threatening spending cuts” as a way to deal with the rapidly growing federal debt.
Schumer started out by noting that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R.-Ky.) had made the point that the House of Representatives needs to act first on the debt limit.
“McConnell said something yesterday that, I think, is right on the mark,” Schumer said. “He said that when it comes to moving a debt ceiling proposal through Congress, the House should go first.
“He is correct,” said Schumer. “Not only should the House go first, but they must quickly show the American people what their plan actually is for avoiding a first-ever default on the national debt.
“So far, we haven’t hear anything beyond vague and troubling talking points about the need to cut federal spending,” Schumer said.
“The House GOP is threatening spending cuts,” Schumer said, pointing his remarks at House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. “Well, what are they? Why the evasion? Why is your conference hiding from the American people?
“House Republicans,” Schumer said, “where are your cards?”
As of the close of business on Tuesday, the federal debt was $31,454,847,829,751.33. That was up from $27,751,896,236,414.77 on Jan. 20, 2021, the day that Joe Biden was inaugurated president.
In Biden’s first two years as president, the federal debt has increased by $3.7 trillion.
Here is the full transcript of Schumer's speech:
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer: “Mr. President, as the debate over raising the debt ceiling continues, Leader MCCONNELL said something yesterday that, I think, is right on the mark. He said that when it comes to moving a debt ceiling proposal through Congress, the House should go first. He is correct. Not only should the House go first, but they must quickly show the American people what their plan actually is for avoiding a first-ever default on the national debt. So far, we haven’t heard anything beyond vague and troubling talking points about the need to cut Federal spending. That is not going to fly when you are in the majority, as Speaker MCCARTHY, of course, is. The substance and details make all the difference. The debt ceiling is not some political game, and Speaker MCCARTHY has an obligation to level with the American people on what precisely the new House plans to do in order to avoid a default. President Biden and the Speaker have reportedly agreed to sit down in the near future on this topic, and the Speaker is apparently heralding this development as some sort of big win or concession. But look, Speaker MCCARTHY sitting down without a clear plan is no win. Sitting down to talk about the debt ceiling without a plan is like coming to the table with no cards. President Biden, meanwhile, has a plan. He has cards. He has been clear that there must be no brinksmanship and no default on the debt ceiling. Speaker MCCARTHY, what about you? The House GOP is threatening spending cuts. Well, what are they? why the evasion? Why is your conference hiding from the American people? House Republicans, where are your cards? Again, I want to be clear that the debt ceiling is a subject of the highest consequence, and using it as a bargaining chip—using it as brinksmanship, as hostage-taking—as Republicans are trying to do, is exceedingly dangerous because if the House of Representatives continues on their current course and allows the United States to default on its debt obligations, every single American is going to pay a terrible and expensive price. The consequences of default are not some theoretical abstraction. If default happens, Americans will see the consequences in their daily lives. Interest rates will go soaring on everything from credit cards and student loans to cars, mortgages, and more. That is thousands of dollars for each American going right out the door. That will happen and through no fault of their own. Retirement plans, like 401(k)s, would lose their value, robbing people of their hard-earned livelihoods. For millions of Americans who one day dream of owning a home—their own piece of the rock—a default would add $130,000 to the lifetime cost of a new home. Imagine spending years putting a little bit of your paycheck aside every month in order to buy a house, only to find out that suddenly that dream is entirely out of reach because radical politicians in Washington bumbled their way into a financial catastrophe. That is precisely the danger we approach, thanks to the House GOP’s reckless approach to the debt ceiling. None of this need be inevitable or even likely if only House Republicans would quit their radical posturing and work with Democrats in a serious way to raise the debt ceiling together, and we should do it soon, not months from now when America finds itself staring straight into the abyss of a financial catastrophe. I would remind my Republican colleagues they did it before, when Trump was President, three times, with no Democratic obstruction or hostagetaking, and we did it once together when Biden was President. Much of this debt comes from spending when Trump was President, voted on by a Republican House and a Republican Senate. So it is a bit of hypocrisy now to say that they can’t do it again and are holding it hostage and are playing a dangerous form of brinksmanship. It shouldn’t matter who is President. These are still bills we already incurred that must be paid for the good of all Americans.”