In the debt limit battles during the Obama administration, the Democrats were able to get the upper hand by saying, “You voted to spend the money, now you can’t vote against borrowing to pay for it.” But now the Democrats are spending the money with no Republican support. Republicans should say, “We did not vote for your spending, and we won’t vote for your borrowing to pay for it.”
This argument gives Republicans a great place to stand to win the debate. Also, by linking debt with Biden spending we open a second front in the battle against his budget busting: not only inflation but now deficit spending and borrowing.
Technicians will object and say the debt limit is about accumulated spending, not particularly the new Biden proposals. Democrats will say that the Biden spending will probably pass in September at the latest and the debt limit vote two months later so they can’t be linked.
But neither of these arguments will make much difference in public opinion. The linkage between Biden spending and the debt limit vote will make a rhetorical point of great importance in 2022 election.
On the reconciliation package and the bipartisan smaller infrastructure bill, Republicans should say “we will not support either of these bills until the Democrats make sufficient cuts in overall spending to obviate the necessity for an immediate debt limit increase.”
Every day that Biden fights for more spending amid the obvious inflation is a day he suffers and the Republicans gain. If we can inject the debt limit argument alongside this reality it will have enormous political implications.
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