Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said his fellow Democrat, President Joe Biden, has staked out a “hypocritical” position in recent debates over how to raise the U.S. debt limit.
Biden has repeatedly called for a so-called “clean bill” to raise the debt limit without any additional conditions on matters such as spending reforms. In an interview with CNN on Tuesday, Manchin criticized Biden’s position.
“It’s not rational, it’s not reasonable, and it’s not practical,” Manchin told CNN’s Manu Raju.
Biden and other members of his administration have argued that Republican lawmakers, who are leading the efforts to impose spending reforms, have previously accepted debt-ceiling increases without adding new spending control measures. Manchin argued that the only times there aren’t contentions over a debt-limit increase is when one political party controls the White House and both houses of Congress.
“It’s hypocritical to say that we’re not going to do it now when we’ve done it every time that there has been a split in the party,” Manchin said.
Manchin went on to say that it’s “not reasonable” to insist that there be no spending cuts or conditions attached to a debt-limit increase.
The United States is currently hovering at around $31.4 trillion in debt, the statutory limit without an increase. The nation is also facing a potential default on its debt obligations as early as June—if an agreement isn’t reached.
On April 25, the Republican-majority House of Representatives passed the “Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023,” which would allow the United States to take on up to $1.5 trillion in new debt through March 31, 2024—in exchange for spending cuts and reforms that are estimated to reduce spending by about $4.8 trillion over the next decade.
The Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023 faces tougher odds of passing in the Democrat-controlled Senate, and Biden has vowed to veto the bill if it does come to his desk.
On Saturday, 43 of the 49 Republicans in the Senate signed a letter vowing to oppose a debt-limit increase without “substantive spending and budget reforms.”
By Ryan Morgan