By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
A Fox News host confronted U.S. Sen. John Barrasso last week during a television appearance about the refusal of congressional Republicans to support an increase of the nation’s debt limit.
But Barrasso maintained raising the debt limit will just allow the federal government to continue living beyond its means.
“In my state, I was a member of the state senate,” the senator said. “Our institution demands we balance our budget every year and live within our means like families need to do and the federal government ought to do the same thing.
During an interview on Fox News Sunday, host Trace Gallagher, filling in for usual anchor Chris Wallace, questioned Barrasso about congressional Republicans’ unwillingness to raise the debt ceiling, saying that some of the reasons given do not make sense.
“You talk about Republicans are against the Build Back Better thing, they’re also against raising the debt limit,” Gallagher said.
“Mitch McConnell said it would just enable Democratic spending. But the Wall Street Journal says, and I’m quoting here, ‘a vote to raise the debt limit doesn’t authorize new spending, but it essentially allows the treasury to raise money to pay for expenses the government has already authorized.’”
The Fox News host then noted that Wyoming would suffer if the federal government was forced to default because Congress refused to extend the debt ceiling.
“It’s important to point out in your state alone, this is paying for things like almost 30,000 people getting SNAP benefits. Of course, that’s food benefits; 33,000 students eligible for free or reduced school lunches. So a lot of benefits from this to your state, senator,” Gallagher said. “So why are you against it?”
But Barrasso said if congressional Democrats did not overspend the nation’s resources, such an increase wouldn’t be needed.
“This is all about Democrat spending. This is 100% on them,” he continued. “If you get rid of the gimmicks of accounting, this bill the Democrats are proposing is $4 trillion in additional spending. There’s not a single Republican who will vote for the bill or to raise the debt ceiling. This is on Democrats.”
According to CNBC, the federal government could reach the maximum amount of money that the U.S. Department of the Treasury is allowed to borrow as soon as Dec. 15. Most recently, President Joe Biden signed legislation on Oct. 14 to increase the debt limit by $480 billion.
The news outlet previously reported that the ceiling prevents the U.S. Treasury from issuing new bonds to fund government activities once a certain debt level, or date, is reached.
Congress raised the debt ceiling in 2017 under former President Donald Trump.