Senate Finance Committee Chair: Republican Debt Limit Threats Target Social Security and Medicare

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Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden released a statement on the debt limit and Republicans targeting Social Security and Medicare. In it, he is clear about what the Republicans are after: cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

“It is important to be crystal clear about what Republicans are after with their threats regarding the debt limit, which the US will hit next week. Once again Republicans are demanding cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, and if they don’t get what they want, they’re willing to tank the American economy, destroy a strong job market and jack up interest rates and inflation. Either way, they’re rooting for higher costs and a lower standard of living for millions of American seniors and families.

“Responsible leaders have been working hard to get inflation under control while protecting jobs and economic growth, and there’s been a lot of progress on that front. Republicans are now openly undermining that progress. As we saw when House Republicans made these same debt limit threats in 2011, the uncertainty alone caused by this dangerous hostage-taking hurts the economy and costs jobs. The damage starts to build up long before an actual default.

“Few Republicans, if any, spoke up when Donald Trump ran up record deficits with a reckless $2 trillion tax law built on giveaways to corporations and the rich. It’s always the same pattern; Republican deficits are only a problem when a Democrat is in the White House.

“Raising the debt limit is not about new spending. It’s required to pay debts that are already owed, including those added under Republican administrations. Bottom line, Democrats will not entertain threats related to the debt limit, especially cuts to Americans’ Social Security and Medicare benefits.”

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