Biden attacks Republicans over debt ceiling threat

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STORY: U.S. President Joe Biden hit out at what he called “MAGA Republicans in the House of Representatives” on Thursday for threatening to destroy the economic progress his administration had made and refusing to lift the country’s debt ceiling.

Biden called the GOP threat ‘mind-boggling’, during a speech in Virginia.

"They want to raise your gas prices. They want to cut taxes for billionaires who pay virtually only 3% of their income now. They want to impose a 30% national sales tax on everything from food, clothing, school supplies, housing, cars...”

Biden also said proposals from fringe Republicans were “dangerous to the American economy”, and he would reject the plans should they reach his desk.

“I will not let it happen, not on my watch. I will veto everything they send.”

Since Congress began this month, the Republican-led House has passed a bill to slash the Internal Revenue Service's budget and some Republicans propose cutting Social Security and Medicare, retirement and healthcare spending programs for senior citizens.

However it’s unlikely Biden would need to reach for his veto pen, as Democrats control the Senate.

And Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy disavowed his support for the bill this week.

However – he did say he wouldn’t approve lifting the debt ceiling unless Biden promised future spending cuts.

Biden was defiant over the idea on Thursday.

“Look, if Republicans want to work together on real solutions and continue to grow manufacturing jobs, build the strongest economy in the world, and make sure Americans are paid a fair wage, I'm ready. But I will not let anyone use the full faith and credit of the United States as a bargaining chip. In the United States of America we pay our debts.”

McCarthy’s threat was unusual, given Congress had approved lifting the federal debt ceiling on a bipartisan basis for decades.

The standoff is a looming crisis with devastating consequences if it isn’t resolved by June.

Failure to lift the debt ceiling by then could lead to the U.S. defaulting on its payments – the Treasury won’t have enough to cover bond payments, workers’ salaries, Social Security checks, and send shockwaves across global markets.