After the debt-straightening negotiations session at the White House this week, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy returned to the Capitol to give reporters an update. He held up two fingers and declared that there are two standards he had told President Biden: no tax raises despite increased revenue and no clean debt ceiling. This conflict is worrying as it puts America’s trust and credibility at stake. McCarthy is at the mercy of public pressure from the far-right House Liberals and former President Donald Trump. He seems to have trouble leading and is susceptible to cross-currents.
The hardline Republicans’ nihilism and willingness to collapse the economy if President Biden doesn’t meet all their demands are giving McCarthy influence. They question the reality and the imminent threat of default and hope that voters would blame the president for the resulting economic collapse. This is causing problems for McCarthy, as he faces a House Liberal caucuses and other hardline Republicans.
President Biden offered to freeze his actions and cut spending next year at current levels, which outraged the liberals who accused him of giving up the store. McCarthy is exposed and needs to be wary of losing his job if he loses the hardline Republican’s support.
Thoughtless repetition of analogies by McCarthy to compare the federal government to a child does not make them valid. America’s economy is much larger and more complex, and its obligations to its national debt are unquestionable.
Some House conservatives have called for defunding the FBI and even detaining FBI Director Christopher A. Wray. Recently a group of House liberals also demanded defunding the FBI’s new headquarters before raising the debt ceiling.
In conclusion, McCarthy’s presidency is at stake. He seems to be struggling with leading and making crucial decisions that will determine the fate of the world’s largest economy.