Progressives are increasing the pressure on President Biden as they are worried that he will agree to Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) and the GOP’s demands in order for a debt ceiling increase to be passed.
A group of high-profile liberal lawmakers which included Progressive Caucus Chairwoman Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Greg Casar (D-TX) met on Wednesday to discuss their concerns about the Republicans’ position regarding the debt limit and the possibility that Biden would try to appease them.
During a lengthy press briefing, Jayapal pointed out that this situation was not normal, and that in reality, it was not about debt but rather about ensuring that the wealthiest Americans and largest businesses would continue having a cash flow.
Casar, a newly elected House progressive, also referred to the countdown to June 1st, which is currently considered to be the date of a possible default as a “dangerous and manufactured crisis.”
Progressives have often slammed Republicans for their unwillingness to discuss tax cuts to the ultra-rich, but instead calling for additional requirements to be added to social safety net programs, such as Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). These requirements would limit the number of Americans who would be in a position to gain access to these necessary benefits.
Last week, dozens of left-wing lawmakers sent a letter to the president calling for him to use the 14th Amendment, which could potentially allow him to pass the debt limit increase even without Congress’s approval. This would allow these programs to continue running and be accessible to those who needed them.