Congress Economics GOP Kevin McCarthy

McCarthy Lacks The Republican Votes Needed To Pass His Draconian Budget Cuts: Report

It appears that Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) dream of making drastic cuts in the federal budget as a condition for raising the debt limit is dissipating by the second, with reports suggesting that he doesn’t even have the Republican votes he needs to take a knife to spending programs.

Jackie Calmes of The Los Angeles Times notes that when GOP House members saw the actual cuts McCarthy is proposing, many of them balked and said they cannot support such draconian measures.

We got evidence of the squeeze this week, even as McCarthy, in his on-again, off-again debt ceiling negotiations with President Biden, was full of budget-cutting bravado to reporters. Just before midnight on Monday — midnight! — the House Appropriations Committee canceled its Tuesday and Wednesday meetings when voting was scheduled on the first of the dozen bills that annually fund the federal government’s operations. Those bills have to fill in the gory details of the spending cuts that Republicans left unidentified when they passed McCarthy’s debt limit bill last month.

The devil, the old saying goes, is in the details, and that’s the problem: McCarthy cannot get the votes he needs to enact his massive cutbacks.

Oh, and as you’d expect, when the Speaker couldn’t muster the votes, he began lying to cover the reason he was calling for a postponement.

The stated reason for the postponement: The committee’s Republican majority wanted to give McCarthy “maximum flexibility” in his talks with Biden.

The real reason: They didn’t have the votes to pass their own bills. Failure, in turn, would have undercut McCarthy’s leverage in the negotiations.

Clearly, McCarthy is getting hit on both sides. The White House is telling him the cuts are a no-go and his own Republican colleagues are also letting him know they won’t sign their name to anything that could hurt them politically with an election now just a little more than a year away.

Oh, and there’s also the matter of Republican hypocrisy, which was revealed when it was reported that they also intend to try and extend the Trump tax cuts for billionaires.

Even then, the savings generated would be small relative to the nation’s annual budget deficits. And Republicans, if they have their way, would in effect wipe out those savings by extending all the Trump-era tax cuts for another decade, adding trillions more to the federal debt they purport to fear.

What will McCarthy do? Probably what politicians are known for doing: Declaring victory and walking away really quickly before anyone can ask any questions. It’s the old Washington two-step, and all it requires is the willingness to pretend.


Congress GOP WTF?!

Marjorie Taylor Greene Pays $100,000 To Purchase Used Chapstick That Belonged To Kevin McCarthy

For some reason known only to her, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) has just paid $100,000 to obtain a chchapstick that once belonged to Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).

According to Olivia Beavers of Politico, House Republicans had a fundraising auction on Tuesday morning and one of the items up for bid was the McCarthy chapstick.

“NEW: During GOP conference today, House Rs did about a 15-min fundraising auction for chapstick used by Speaker McCarthy. The winner: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), whose winning bid was $100,000, her Spox confirms to me.”

“Others bid on it as well, but MTG ultimately won: And as bidding went on, McCarthy would sweeten the deal, throwing in agreeing to attend a dinner with donors/supporters for whoever wins.”

Keep in mind that Republicans in Congress are currently holding the entire country hostage with their absurd demands for massive cuts to the federal budget before they agree to raise the debt ceiling, but they still had time for a frivolous fundraiser.

Also, where in the hell did Greene get 100K to buy a damn chapstick? Is she using her taxpayer-funded salary to make that bid, or did she get the cash from a donor?

Twitter users had some thoughts on the matter, too.


Congress GOP

Kevin McCarthy’s Latest Blunder Suggests His Speakership Is Nearing The End: Report

Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) needed 15 ballots before he finally became head of the House GOP caucus in January, but his latest blunder involving raising the federal debt ceiling has some suggesting that it’s time for him to be removed.

According to an analysis by MSNBC’s James Downie, McCarthy’s debt ceiling proposal appears to be fracturing the delicate coalition that helped put him in the Speaker’s chair.

The problem here isn’t the bill itself — even though it has the absence of substance you’d expect from today’s GOP. The problem is that the basic elements of what’s being requested in the bill have been public knowledge for months, and yet McCarthy and his team have dawdled on bringing it to the floor. And even after all this time, McCarthy is, once again, struggling to find the 218 votes he needs to pass the proposal. “The whip count on this is not good,” one senior Republican told Axios on Thursday.

How could McCarthy not have known that such a proposal would be met with disdain on both sides of the aisle? Probably because the Speaker doesn’t know what he’s doing, and, more importantly, doesn’t know how to count votes.

There is no excuse for such negligence. McCarthy’s failures in that office have been, like the rest of his career, largely inconsequential. But if the country is to raise the debt limit in an orderly fashion, then he must quickly find one of two qualities he’s never displayed before. Either he’ll need to put his country over his position and broker a bipartisan deal in the House before the Freedom Caucus inevitably replaces him. Or he’ll need to persuade a dozen or more Republicans, whose brand is just this side of ‘death to Democrats,’ to hold hands with Biden.

All that remains if McCarthy cannot reach a deal that’s agreeable to both his caucus and the White House is a series of moves that no one is eager to try, if only because they reek of desperation and may not even work.

Off-ramps remain, including invoking the 14th Amendment, minting a platinum coin, forcing a discharge petition through the House and issuing “premium bonds.” But these alternatives are untested.

How nice it would be to have a competent Speaker at this perilous moment, a leader, a statesman, Downie concludes, adding, “But we don’t have leadership. We don’t have selflessness. We don’t have competence. We have Kevin McCarthy.”


Congress Economics GOP Taxation

WATCH A CNBC Host Tell Kevin McCarthy He’s A Hypocrite For Refusing To Repeal The Trump Tax Cuts

CNBC host Sara Eisen repeatedly asked Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) why he’s refusing to repeal the Trump tax cuts as part of the ongoing debate over raising the nation’s debt ceiling.

McCarthy was in New York to discuss the debt ceiling and stabilizing financial markets, and he wondered if Eisen would allow the country to continue to tax and spend: “Would you just raise the limit?”

Eisen replied, “Well, if it meant playing with America’s standing and full faith and credit of U.S. government debt, I feel like you can deal with the spending in other ways, which is totally legitimate.”

When McCarthy said debt can only be reduced with massive spending cuts, Eisen wondered, “You did it (raised the debt ceiling) three times in the Trump administration.”

The Speaker protested, “We never raised the debt ceiling by itself.”

Eisen: “And tax cuts. That was like $2 trillion in deficit.”

When McCarthy said those tax cuts had been good for the economy, Eisen countered, “So I was going to ask you about taxes because I wonder, because you want to extend the Trump tax cuts, correct? But isn’t that a little hypocritical when you’re talking about finding savings everywhere and being on an unsustainable fiscal path?”

In response, McCarthy resorted to his favorite trick: He lied.

“How’s that hypocritical when it’s bringing tax cuts, tax savings? I will always advocate for the idea that we are streamlining our tax policies, that we’re also streamlining our regulation.”

Someone please explain the basics of economics to Kevin McCarthy. It’s clear he has no damn idea what he’s talking about.

Here’s the video from CNBC:

Congress GOP

Republicans Balk At Kevin McCarthy’s Plan To Cut SNAP Benefits

For weeks now, Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has said that he and his GOP colleagues have a plan for how to cut the federal deficit as part of the ongoing negotiations over the looming debt ceiling debate.

One of the things McCarthy is pushing for in the battle over the debt ceiling and next year’s budget is drastic cuts in SNAP food benefits for the needy. But his plan is already meeting with opposition from members of his own party, according to Politico.

Cutting spending on federal food assistance programs is a perennial Republican target, and House conservatives are eager to make it part of any agreement to raise the debt ceiling, which the country must do later this year to avoid a default crisis. But Senate Democrats have said such measures are dead on arrival in the upper chamber, and with the help of key Senate Republicans, they have killed off a series of similar House GOP efforts over the years — including a 2018 push involving McCarthy and his current top debt limit lieutenant Rep. Garret Graves (La.). The early response from Senate Republicans this time around does not bode well for a different outcome in 2023.


“I’m sure it won’t be easy,” said John Thune (S.D.), the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, noting his party will get a second bite at the apple later this year during the farm bill reauthorization process.

A GOP Senate aide, who was granted anonymity to discuss private conversations, was less diplomatic: “I mean, Godspeed. Get what you can. We’re going to live in reality over here.”

The larger challenge for House Republicans is that a quick glance at federal spending outlays shows programs that are considered untouchable because they’re very popular with voters, and those make up the vast majority U.S. government spending: Social Security, healthcare, veterans, and national defense.

What will McCarthy and his top House GOP lieutenants do? That remains unclear, The Washington Post explains that the Speaker and Republicans appear to be in a no-win situation.

As McCarthy prepares to speak after the opening bell in the nation’s trading hub — many Republicans admitted privately they would be watching the markets closely for another spot reaction. Yet some in Washington acknowledged that it may well take a more severe economic disruption just to force a resolution to the country’s fiscal standoff.

“You can’t rule that out,” said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum, a conservative advocacy group, as he echoed the need for drastic action to reduce the federal debt. “Both sides are dug in. They’ve shown no signs of moving. Something has to change the landscape to incentivize the White House and Congress to move.”