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Are Republicans Really in Disarray Over the Debt Ceiling?

Greg Nash/Pool via AP

This article has been updated to include White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre's claims about debt ceiling negotiations from Tuesday. 

As the House looks to pass House Speaker Kevin McCarthy's (R-CA) debt ceiling proposal, the mainstream media is looking to make it look like the Republicans are in disarray. Meanwhile, Democrats are lambasting these Republican efforts, as President Joe Biden has given McCarthy the slip when it comes to negotiations. 


On Tuesday, Punchbowl's morning newsletter sought to raise doubts that McCarthy had enough votes, especially when it comes to Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), who was instrumental in negotiations when it came to McCarthy ultimately getting enough votes to become speaker on the 15th round in January. 

The newsletter was tellingly advertised as "McCarthy's biggest roadblocks." Among what they claim to "know," the newsletter offers that they've "heard a few more names of conservatives who are giving leadership a run for their money on this vote," which includes Roy. Also mentioned in the newsletter are concerns with "ethanol credit issues."

"McCarthy and other top Republicans had said privately that they were hoping to go to the floor as early as Wednesday. But they may not be ready by then," the newsletter mentioned about a timeline. 

Roy's op-ed for The Federalist on Tuesday, "For America To Grow, Washington’s Swampy Spending Spree Has To Shrink," addressed his thoughts on the matter, very much clearing the record. 

A spokesperson for Roy told Townhall on Tuesday that "Subject to the bill being firmed up today, these are his thoughts on the overall framework," referring to the op-ed. 


As Roy explains early on in his piece about the current plan, with original emphasis:

The plan on the table now reduces, by about $131 billion, total fiscal year 2024 “discretionary” spending to 2022 levels. This allows us to continue to fortify national defense at current levels while limiting funding for the federal bureaucracy to pre-Covid spending, which happens to be about the 2024 non-defense levels proposed by that “MAGA extremist” Barack Obama in his final budget. If we then impose spending caps at 1 percent annual growth from there, we will save a massive $3.6 trillion over the next decade just by limiting discretionary spending.

Perhaps even more important than the taxpayer dollars this would save are the limits this would place on woke and weaponized federal agencies and programs that are restricting individual Americans’ ability to prosper economically and live free.  


Republicans have been promising to cut spending and shrink the federal government for decades, and our track record has been beyond pathetic. The debt ceiling is an opportunity for my colleagues to stand up and fight to keep the promises we made to get elected. 

Enough talk, enough lip service, enough promises; it’s time to take action to radically re-empower the American people, unleash our economy, and pull this country back from self-imposed decline. Now is the time for bold action rooted in the vision of the founders; we can do that by shrinking Washington to grow America.


In an in-depth article from The Hill about where various Republican members stand mentions Roy's position as well. "Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas), who won a seat on the influential House Rules Committee after he had opposed McCarthy’s Speakership over process demands, wrote in a Federalist op-ed on Tuesday that Republicans should support the GOP plan," the piece reads. 

It's worth noting that Punchbowl's Jake Sherman has needed to be corrected before on Roy's position. 

In addition to setting the record straight, Roy's op-ed also paints a clear choice, and from the opening paragraph:

As the national media help President Biden whip Americans into a frenzy with claims of “defaulting on our debt” that can result only from a self-fulfilling prophecy, House Republicans are presented with a choice. Will we cave to the president, Wall Street, massive corporations, swamp lobbyists, and the corporate media to continue America’s borrow-and-spend death spiral? Or will we instead take this opportunity to stand up for the American people to demand their “leaders” stop irresponsibly spending money we do not have?

Democrats, through talking points propagated by White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, have engaged in fearmongering to the highest level about what the Republican proposal will do, which supposedly includes "fill our cities with smog" which will "give asthma" to kids. They also, according to Jean-Pierre, want to allow "oil companies to use toxic chemicals that cause severe burns, damage people's eyes, and quite literally melt bones."


Jean-Pierre also engaged further in fearmongering with her official statement that threw out his obsessive talking points of how "MAGA House Republicans are holding the American economy hostage in order to take a hatchet to programs Americans rely on every day to make ends meet."

Yet even to this day, Jean-Pierre still claims that Biden is not the problem, but rather Republicans are, as she did during Tuesday's White House press briefing. It's always someone else's fault--usually MAGA Republicans--and this applies despite how the president won't meet further with the speaker for negotiations. 

But, Democrats are not so much in lockstep after all. As Townhall has repeatedly covered, even members of the president's own party want Biden to negotiate. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who is facing his own tough reelection battle--should he indeed run in 2024--has been particularly vocal about praising McCarthy's efforts.

The House Rules Committee, which Roy is a member of, is now prepping the debt ceiling bill. CNN's Manu Raju has tweeted about Republican members coming in and out of McCarthy's office in hopes of securing the votes. 


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