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Tipsheet

Is Biden Facing a 'Bubbling Progressive Rebellion' Over the Debt Ceiling Fight?

AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File

Spencer has been documenting the ongoing fight to raise the debt ceiling. House Republicans have already sent a bill to the Senate that would do just that, but congressional Democrats are going to sit on it. They claim the cuts in spending are harmful to working families as if Biden’s inflationary agenda hasn’t been a massive tax hike on the middle class ever since he became president. We hit the limit on June 1 or around that time. Defaulting is not an option, both parties agree. And while Democrats have been reportedly enjoying Speaker Kevin McCarthy working overtime to accommodate the various wings of his caucus, the Democrats are facing internal fissures of their own. 

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Axios is reporting that the party's far left wing in both chambers is warning Joe Biden that he should be ready to invoke the 14th Amendment to raise the debt ceiling unilaterally, which is constitutionally questionable at best. The discharge petition, which Democrats set into motion in January, served as a secondary protocol and only needs about five Republicans to bypass the GOP leadership to take up a motion on a clean debt ceiling raise. So far, the GOP has held firm in steering their members away from that legislative maneuver. Now, Biden is facing a “bubbling progressive rebellion” on his side of the aisle (via Axios): 

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A group of 11 Senate Democrats, led by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), sent Biden a letter today urging him to "prepare to exercise your authority under the 14th Amendment" to raise the debt ceiling, Axios' Andrew Solender reports. 

"We cannot reach a budget agreement that increases the suffering of millions of Americans," they wrote, arguing that it is "seemingly impossible to enact a bipartisan budget deal at this time." 

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, told Axios that House progressives "will have something similar."

What they're saying: "[N]obody should assume, including the White House, that House Democrats or the Progressive Caucus or anyone else is gonna go along with something that’s negotiated without us at the table," Jayapal warned. 

"Whatever they decide is going to have to be voted on by members," said Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.). "And I hope they recognize that and make sure they're taking very good stock about what we're feeling." 

One senior House Democrat warned that the vote could become a "damned if we do, damned if we don't" decision, given the "difficult competing interests" of avoiding default and minimizing spending cuts. 

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The publication did add that the House GOP, with their razor-thin majority, has delivered regarding something that could be voted on regarding this looming crisis. However, Senate Democrats have already torched it. Zero hour is drawing closer, with the situation becoming even more disconcerting if members of Congress decide to go home for the Memorial Day weekend. Does Biden have enough juice to deal with everything going into motion on this debt ceiling issue? We don’t know—he refuses to answer questions.

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