There’s roughly a week until the U.S. government could become short of money because it can't borrow to fulfill all of its obligations, and the partisan disagreement over whom would be to blame for any possible economic fallout reflects the broad divide between Republicans and Democrats over raising the debt limit.
Asked whom the American public would hold responsible if a deal isn’t reached in time, GOP lawmakers told Fox News Digital on Tuesday that the blame would certainly lie at President Joe Biden and the Democrats’ feet. Most pointed to House Republicans’ recently-passed Limit, Save, Grow Act as evidence that the GOP did its part to avert any debt crisis.
Democrats, meanwhile, accused House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and his conference of holding the debt limit 'hostage' and pointed out that it was Congress’ constitutional obligation to act on the debt ceiling, rather than Biden’s.
'President Biden waited 97 days to speak with Kevin McCarthy about this debt ceiling stuff, so if anything untoward happens, this is 100% the Biden-Schumer shutdown,' said Rep. Derrick Van Orden, R-Wis., on the steps of the U.S. Capitol. Asked if he believes Americans would feel the same way, he added, 'I think if more media outlets report it honestly like you’re doing, they would, if they’re told the truth.'
Republican Study Committee Chairman Kevin Hern, R-Okla., maintained that McCarthy and Biden would reach a deal before the government runs out of cash, declaring, 'First and foremost, we’re going to pay our debts. We always have, we always will, so I think that’s the headline.
Hern said 'I do' when asked if he feels Americans would blame the left for any repercussions of letting negotiations get down to the line in terms of timing, and knocked Biden for his recent trip to the G7 summit in Japan as talks went on. 'When you look at the leadership that we have done in the House, doing our responsibility of passing a bill, the Senate hasn’t done their job, and the president was off gallivanting around the world when he could’ve been working to get this done,' Hern explained.
Rep. Ben Cline, R-Va., in charge of the RSC’s budget taskforce, shared a similar sentiment regarding the other side of the aisle. 'Absolutely – they’re the ones who have been delaying the whole time, they’re the ones who want to keep spending, and continue to keep punting on responsibility for this enormous debt that this country’s incurred,' Cline said.
'Joe Biden' was Rep. Byron Donalds’, R-Fla., point-blank answer when asked whom Americans will direct their anger at. 'Because the one thing Joe Biden has been successful at is creating crises he cannot solve. He’s done it every single time,' Donalds said.
On the other side of the aisle, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., simply told Fox News Digital when asked who would be to blame, 'It’s Congress’ job, only Congress can raise the debt limit.'
'It’s pretty obvious who to blame here – the extremist Republicans who control Kevin McCarthy. I mean, they’re the ones who made him go through 17 votes to get elected Speaker. They’re holding the country hostage,' said Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass. 'We didn’t like Donald Trump, we didn’t like his tax cuts. It’s created much of this deficit. And yet we raised the debt limit three times under Trump because it’s the right thing to do for the country.'
Asked if Americans would feel the same, Moulton said, 'Look I hope they do, because that’s the truth.'
Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo., said public blame would fall on 'anyone who is standing in the way of actually moving this forward and doing so quickly.'
'We’re already way too close, we shouldn’t have been this close to a default,' Crow said. 'The Republicans and Speaker McCarthy in particular need to come to the table in good faith and get this done, because we can’t be playing games with the American economy and American workers.'
'We have a Republican-controlled House, and it’s a Republican-controlled House that’s brought us to the brink,' Crow added.