By U.S. Congressman Tom Cole
A topic that has come up during both of the last couple weeks in Congress is the issue of adjusting the debt limit, which requires legislation signed by the president to either raise or suspend it.
Although Democrats control both chambers of Congress and the White House and they have refused to work with Republicans on much of anything this year, they are claiming that Republicans will be the ones to blame if the United States defaults on its debt.
While it is correct that Democrats and Republicans have come together in the past to address the debt ceiling, the circumstances were drastically different. Moreover, such efforts were often paired with provisions seeking to reduce the deficit and slow the growth of the national debt, which is not the case with both measures brought to the floor in the last couple weeks.
However, while both parties have shared the responsibility of dealing with the debt limit before, it is categorically false for Democrats, especially current members of leadership, to act as if they have always participated and been supportive.
Indeed, the same Democratic leaders who are blasting Republicans now refused to raise the debt limit on more occasions than not when Republicans controlled the White House and both chambers.
In fact, during the last five times Congress addressed the debt limit under unified Republican control, now House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer only voted to raise it once out of five times.
Regarding this current situation and issue of the nation quickly nearing its debt limit, Republicans have made it known for months that they would not support raising the debt limit as long as Democrats peddle their bloated and irresponsible spending plans and socialist-style policies.
Since the beginning of the year, Democrats have been pushing their radical and wildly expensive policy agenda despite having the bare minimum of a majority in both the House and Senate.
The results have been shocking: more big government socialism, increased spending, rising inflation and higher taxes.
Remember, Democrats already rammed through a massive $1.9 trillion spending package earlier this year using a special tool called “reconciliation,” which allows certain legislation to pass the Senate with 51 votes, rather than the usual 60.
Although that legislation was billed by Democrats as coronavirus relief, it was really about advancing a laundry list of socialist-style policies. As a result, it should come as no surprise that Republicans did not participate, nor was our input even welcomed.
Since then, Democrats have continued on their quest to bankrupt our nation and transform it into a socialist society.
Their next target is to pass another reconciliation bill – this time costing at least $3.5 trillion – filled with even more socialist-style programs. And if they are successful, they will have pushed through $5.5 trillion of partisan spending in just one year, which is nearly one and a half times the amount of normal yearly federal spending.
All which comes on top of regular spending for normal operations and services across the government.
This is the choice Democrats have made. They have chosen to govern in a majority-rules fashion pushing through bill after bill, larded up with huge spending and more and more big government socialism, all on their own. They don’t even really need Republicans to address the debt limit since they can do so simply by using their favorite tool of reconciliation.
Just as Democrats have been perfectly fine with moving their radical policies alone, they should take ownership of the need to address the debt limit – on their own.
After all, their desire to suspend the debt limit through the end of 2022, without restriction, is clearly intended to provide a blank check to continue on their spending binge of unprecedented proportions.
Republicans will have no part in that.