Hageman Says Republicans Can’t Seem “To Wake Up Joe Biden” To Face Debt Ceiling Crisis

U.S. Harriet Hageman said Republicans are effectively holding court when it comes to debt ceiling negotiations, and they won’t accept any proposal that doesn’t cut spending.

Leo Wolfson

May 24, 20234 min read

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White House and U.S. House Republican negotiators are not making good progress on the nation's debt ceiling drama, but U.S. Rep. Harriet Hageman, R-Wyoming, said she’s not concerned.

 She said House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has “gone above and beyond” in an attempt “to wake up” President Joe Biden in finding a compromise. 

“Republicans do not need to negotiate with ourselves, so I look forward to commenting further once something is formally presented by Biden and the Democrats,” Hageman told Cowboy State Daily on Monday.

Late last month, the U.S. House passed House Resolution 2811, the Limit, Save, Grow Act, to address the debt ceiling situation. All but five Republicans in the House voted for the bill, which would limit federal budgets to 2022 fiscal levels by cutting $4.8 trillion in spending.

In exchange, the debt ceiling would be lifted through March 2024, or by $1.5 trillion, whichever comes sooner.

Hageman voted to support the act and said it deals with the debt ceiling in a fiscally responsible manner. She said that while Biden won’t support it, he also has yet to offer a credible alternative to H.R. 2811.

Last week, the House Freedom Caucus, of which Hageman is a member, called for “no further discussion” on legislation to raise the debt ceiling until the Senate passes H.R. 2811. Some House Republicans have said they will not accept any legislation they deem to be weaker than the bill they passed in April.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, has called the bill “dead on arrival” and Biden has issued a veto threat should the it end up on his desk.

Last week, Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyoming, expressed support for the bill and said Biden is playing “Russian roulette” with the American economy, spending the past three months “pandering to the liberal left.”

“For month after month after month the president refused, the president refused to meet with the Speaker of the House to talk about debt and spending,” Barrasso said during a press conference. “Does the president believe there is no wasteful spending in Washington? Does the president believe that in a $6 trillion budget that nothing could be cut?”

U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyoming, offered a similar sentiment on Twitter last week.

“Every business owner knows that when your revenues decline, you need to cut spending. Government should not be any different,” Lummis tweeted. “President Biden needs to do his job and negotiate a deal with @SpeakerMcCarthy that reduces reckless government spending.”

Not Close

McCarthy said Tuesday that he’s not close to reaching a bipartisan deal with Biden to avoid a first-ever default on the nation’s debt. He left the Capitol on Tuesday and told reporters that he did not expect a deal to come through that day.

Republican negotiators have said the White House needs to cut spending or no deal will be reached.

“I am still waiting to see a plan by the Senate or the president that doesn’t involve a blank check policy,” Hageman said.

If Congress fails to address the debt ceiling, the federal government could run out of money as soon as June 1, according to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said on Friday there is a “significant risk” the federal government will no longer be able to pay all of its obligations during the first two weeks of June.

Contact Leo Wolfson at Leo@CowboyStateDaily.com

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Leo Wolfson

Politics and Government Reporter