McCarthy Lied. But You Knew That…
From the Speaker’s Press Office:
Much like the national debt under President Trump, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s nose just won’t stop growing.
The Washington Post gave McCarthy three Pinocchios for falsely claiming the urgently needed debt limit increase has nothing to do with the spending and tax scam he supported under Trump.
“We're still spending some covid relief [funds] that President Trump signed into law,” Goldwein said. “We dramatically increased defense and nondefense discretionary spending under President Trump’s watch, with bipartisan support, and we're still losing revenue from the tax cuts.”
Trump’s tax cuts in 2017 increased the deficit.
Goldwein added in an email: “We didn’t borrow $1.9 trillion all in 2017 to dole out for tax cuts. We enacted a bill that would borrow $200-$300 billion per year for 8 years. A lot of that borrowing is happening today and will continue to happen through 2026 or 2027.”
During the Trump Administration, Democrats put country over party and helped President Trump and a Republican-controlled Congress raise the debt ceiling before and after the Republican Tax Scam added $2 trillion to the debt.
Now that President Biden is in the White House, McCarthy and Congressional Republicans want to dine and dash even if it means killing 6 million jobs, ripping away $15 trillion in household wealth, and tanking the U.S economy.
As the Washington Post reports, they’re also OK with pushing falsehoods about their three votes to raise the debt ceiling under President Trump.
Read key points from the Washington Post’s factcheck of the Minority Leader
- “The past debt ceiling paid for everything in the Trump administration, plus seven months of this Biden administration.” — House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), in an interview on Fox News, Sept. 21
- Congress once again is at an impasse over whether to extend the federal government’s borrowing cap, or “debt ceiling.”
- After supplying votes on three occasions to extend the borrowing limit under President Donald Trump, Republicans are not willing to go along anymore now that President Biden is in office. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says that without congressional action, the government will exhaust its ability to pay its bills sometime in October.
- “Failing to address the debt limit, and allowing an unprecedented default, could cause serious economic and national security harm,” a bipartisan group of former Treasury secretaries wrote to congressional leaders in a letter Sept. 22. “Even a short-lived default could threaten economic growth. It creates the risk of roiling markets, and of sapping economic confidence, and it would prevent Americans from receiving vital services.”
- In a Fox News interview, McCarthy claimed the last extension of the debt ceiling, in 2019, “paid for everything in the Trump administration, plus seven months of this Biden administration.”
- Not really. Raising the debt limit would cover the cost of programs that were approved in the past. Today, the government continues to borrow money to pay for policies that Trump signed into law, such as the 2017 tax cuts geared at businesses and wealthy earners.
- Under Trump, Congress in bipartisan votes suspended the debt ceiling in December 2017, March 2019 and August 2019. The national debt rose by roughly $7.8 trillion during the Trump administration and is now at $28 trillion.
- The House voted on Tuesday to suspend the debt ceiling through 2022, voting 220-211 along party lines, with no Republican support. In the Senate, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) says Democrats should go it alone because they are separately backing a $3.5 trillion proposal for future spending.
- “The need to raise (or lower) the limit during a session of Congress is driven by previous decisions regarding revenues and spending stemming from legislation enacted earlier in the session or in prior years,” according to a CRS report. In other words, raising the debt ceiling would cover costs that were previously approved, sometimes by the previous president or Congress.
- McCarthy took things much further on Fox News, claiming as he did that the August 2019 suspension of the debt ceiling “paid for everything” in the Trump administration and seven months of Biden’s.
- In a nutshell, McCarthy was talking about timing — all the bills that came due were paid on time during the period he mentioned. But his talking point is flawed because it doesn’t account for the total cost of ongoing policies, such as the Trump tax cuts.
- “We're still spending some covid relief [funds] that President Trump signed into law,” Goldwein said. “We dramatically increased defense and nondefense discretionary spending under President Trump’s watch, with bipartisan support, and we're still losing revenue from the tax cuts.”
- Trump’s tax cuts in 2017 increased the deficit.
- Goldwein added in an email: “We didn’t borrow $1.9 trillion all in 2017 to dole out for tax cuts. We enacted a bill that would borrow $200-$300 billion per year for 8 years. A lot of that borrowing is happening today and will continue to happen through 2026 or 2027.”
- A request for comment to McCarthy’s office went unreturned.
- The claim is highly misleading. Regularly paying the monthly bill on your car or house doesn’t mean you’ve paid the entire sticker price. The same goes for government policies such as Trump’s 2017 tax cuts, which the government continues to borrow hundreds of billions of dollars a year to finance.
- McCarthy earns Three Pinocchios.