Sen. Chris Murphy Says Republican Party Is ‘Addicted To Chaos’

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Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said on Sunday that the tense debt limit talks between the White House and Congress are just the latest example of the Republican Party being “addicted to chaos.”

President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) reached an “agreement in principle” over the weekend on legislation to increase the national debt ceiling and avoid a federal default, after weeks of negotiations with little public progress.

While most of the bill’s details have yet to be released, the deal reportedly includes raising the debt ceiling for two years; putting a 1% cap on non-defense spending for the 2025 fiscal year; fully funded medical care for veterans; and increased work requirements for non-disabled adults using some government assistance programs.

“I think it’s important to note that we are still learning the details of this deal. And I’ll reserve judgment until I’ve read it,” Murphy said on MSNBC’s “Inside With Jen Psaki.” “But let’s just be clear: I want to underscore something you’ve said at the outset, which is that there’s an enormous amount of damage that’s already been done to the economy and to this country.”

“I just came back from overseas, and every international newscast has been leading, for the last week, with stories of this Republican-imposed chaos in the United States,” the Democrat, who serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee and Foreign Relations Committee, continued.

“This Republican Party is addicted to chaos — the entire Trump presidency, Jan. 6, and now this threat to default and crater the American economy. It’s just terrible for the country and for our reputation abroad, for our ability to draw investment.”

McCarthy said that the House will vote on the bill Wednesday, which gives the Senate some time to review it before June 5, which is when Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the U.S. could default if lawmakers don’t resolve the debt crisis. Economists have said that the country could face economic chaos and a likely recession if the Treasury Department defaults on its debt.

“Part of the reason that I was reluctant to get involved in these negotiations is that I think there’s a whole big swath of the Republican Party that actually wants us to default,” Murphy said, adding that such Republicans are “mostly in the House, but some in the Senate.”

“And you’re starting to see the Freedom Caucus already rallying the troops against this deal. My worry is that there may still not be enough Republicans in the House to get this deal done,” he continued. “So yes, there are a lot more responsible voices in the Republican Party in the Senate, but it can’t get to us if McCarthy can’t deliver his caucus.”

Last week, right-wing Rep. Matt Gaetz (Fla.) compared the debt limit talks to a hostage negotiation, reportedly saying that conservative lawmakers “don’t feel like we should negotiate with our hostage.” Asked what Republicans were putting on the table to incentivize Democrats to agree to a deal, House Financial Services Chair Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) said, “The debt ceiling increase.”