Jamaal Bowman is not impressed.
On Thursday, as Republicans continued their stall on allowing the government to increase the debt ceiling, the New York representative reiterated his urges to President Biden not to negotiate with “the economic terrorists here that are the Republican Party.”
“I’m very frustrated. I called on the president to invoke the Fourteenth Amendment and mint a coin, and do not negotiate with hostage-takers,” Bowman said to CNN’s Manu Raju. “I mean, we don’t negotiate with terrorists globally, why are we gonna negotiate with the economic terrorists here that are the Republican Party?”
Since then, the White House and Republicans have reportedly closed in on a deal that involves a two-year debt limit hike in exchange for maintaining the defense budget but cutting other spending, like $10 billion in IRS funding.
To Bowman’s point, Matt Gaetz outright admitted that the debt limit talks have just been about holding the government “hostage” (as if it was not already abundantly clear by Republicans’ actions). And while Republicans may not win every single one of the cuts they wanted—like instating work requirements on Medicaid and food stamps and repealing green energy programs—the cut in IRS funding is still worrisome. The additional funding Biden allocated to the agency has already led to massively faster support call times for Americans, and a cut of that size is expected to greatly limit the agency’s ability to audit wealthy tax cheats.
Most important is that none of these cuts had to happen, had the White House and Democrats put forth a stronger front earlier or even taken care of the debt ceiling before the new Congress was seated in January. Of course, it is Republicans’ fault for only now deciding to play hardball on doing something they happily did three times under twice-impeached, criminally indicted, and liable-for-sexual-abuse former President Donald Trump. But Democrats know this is how the Republicans behave. And as Bowman said, it didn’t have to be this way.