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Cami Mondeaux, Congressional Reporter


NextImg:GOP debt limit bill would gut Border Patrol, Democrats say in latest attack

Democrats are expanding their attacks against the Republican-backed debt limit bill passed earlier this week, this time accusing the GOP of voting to reduce the number of Border Patrol agents stationed at the southern border as a way to cut government spending.

The House earlier this week passed Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s budget proposal that would raise the debt ceiling into next year in exchange for limiting government spending in a number of areas — prompting an outcry from Democrats who say the bill would eliminate crucial programs for political gain.

GOP SEIZES ON DEBT CEILING TO TARGET VULNERABLE DEMOCRATS IN NEW ATTACK ADS

The White House seized on that messaging this week by pointing to provisions in the bill that would reduce spending for border security, accusing Republicans of holding the economy “hostage unless they are allowed to lay off thousands of border patrol agents.”

“The extreme MAGA Default on America Act would impose these damaging cuts for our national security in order to make room for deficit-increasing tax giveaways to rich special interests, including billionaires and multinational corporation,” a White House spokesman told the Washington Examiner. “Let that sink in. With this week’s vote, House Republicans looked their constituents in the eye and said that they are willing to single-handedly trigger a recession unless they can fire thousands of Border Patrol agents.”

The latest attack comes as both Republicans and Democrats seek to use the debt ceiling to target the opposite party, especially ahead of the 2024 election cycle.

Just one day after the House narrowly passed the GOP-led debt ceiling package, Republicans started using the vote to target vulnerable Democrats in a series of new ads that attack the lawmakers for voting against the legislation and accuse them of “putting the economy in crisis.”

Meanwhile, Democrats are targeting House Republicans for voting in favor of the debt ceiling hike that included roughly $130 billion in spending cuts — accusing the GOP of gutting crucial government programs that voters depend on.

McCarthy unveiled his long-awaited debt ceiling bill last week, proposing to raise the debt ceiling over the next year either by $1.5 trillion or until March 31, 2024, whichever comes first. The Limit, Save, Grow Act seeks to cool inflation and limit government spending by reducing discretionary funds to pre-pandemic levels and capping budget increases by 1% each year, among other provisions.

Now with the legislation making it through the House, all eyes are on Biden to see if he’ll agree to meet with McCarthy to hash out an agreement. Biden and McCarthy initially met in January to begin negotiations, but that meeting ended without a binding agreement because the White House remains adamant it will not discuss federal spending until the borrowing limit is lifted.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER

Since then, McCarthy said Biden has "ignored every opportunity to communicate" and continue negotiations. Biden said earlier this week he had no objections to meeting with McCarthy, but that their discussion would not include negotiations on the debt ceiling.

The United States hit its debt ceiling on Jan. 19, raising fears of a default. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said her department would take “extraordinary measures” to prevent the U.S. from defaulting on its obligations, but the department will only have a few months before those measures are exhausted.