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Economic Hostage-Takers in Freedom Caucus Issue New Ransom Demands

Economic Hostage-Takers in Freedom Caucus Issue New Ransom Demands
"These power-hungry lawmakers are so intent on preventing the Biden administration from rebuilding the middle class that they're willing to wreck the economy to do it," one advocate warned. KENNY STANCIL 10 MAR 2023

“These power-hungry lawmakers are so intent on preventing the Biden administration from rebuilding the middle class that they’re willing to wreck the economy to do it,” one advocate warned.

A group of far-right Republicans said Friday that they would only vote to raise the debt ceiling if Congress agreed to cut hundreds of billions of dollars in social spending, limit future budgets for federal agencies, and abandon progressive elements of President Joe Biden’s economic agenda.

Since Washington’s arbitrary and arguably unconstitutional borrowing limit was exceeded in January, the Treasury Department has taken “extraordinary measures” to allow the US government to meet its obligations for a few more months. Unless the Biden administration takes unilateral action to disarm the debt ceiling, Congress has until July or September to raise or suspend the nation’s borrowing limit. If Republicans refuse to do so, the United States will face a catastrophic default.

Rep. Scott Perry is leading the charge.


Remove Biden’s $400 billion student debt relief plan;
Refund any remaining Covid-19 relief funds;
Remove nearly $400 billion in clean energy investments authorized by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA);

Repeal the IRA’s roughly $80 billion increase in Internal Revenue Service (IRS) funding;
Restore welfare recipients’ work requirements from the Clinton era;
Any major federal regulations should require congressional approval before going into effect.
Future federal spending should be capped at 2022 levels for the next ten years. and
“Every dollar spent by Democrats that can be reclaimed for the American taxpayer,” find out.

Although deficit hawks on Capitol Hill are eager to attack the poor and cut popular programs, they oppose cutting the ever-expanding US military budget or raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy to increase revenue. Meanwhile, repealing the IRS funding increase would aid wealthy households in evading taxes while adding an estimated $114 billion to the federal deficit.

“The MAGA extremists running the House fully intend to manufacture a disastrous default crisis by making demands they know are nonstarters—like absolving wealthy tax evaders and big polluters,” Liz Zelnick, director of Economic Security and Corporate Power at Accountable.US, said in a statement.

“These power-hungry lawmakers are willing to go to war to prevent the Biden administration from rebuilding the middle class.”

“Speaker McCarthy is not going to strike a deal with Democrats,” Perry said at a press conference on Friday. “We’re not assuming that the leadership is against these things… this is all reasonable stuff.”

The latest Freedom Caucus ultimatum “appeared to complicate efforts to clinch a deal and avert a looming fiscal calamity,” according to The Washington Post.

Biden has repeatedly chastised Republicans for holding the economy hostage in order to impose harmful changes, refusing to accept their “gut punch to the middle class.” On Friday, the president reiterated his refusal to consider the GOP’s proposed budget cuts, saying, “I’m not sure [if] there’s much to negotiate on.”

The White House released its budget request for fiscal year 2024 on Thursday. Despite Biden’s attempt to increase Pentagon spending even further, progressives have praised the framework for proposing tax increases on corporations and the wealthy to fund a variety of public goods, including significant funding for climate action, childcare, education, healthcare, housing, and other programs.

Despite the fact that Biden’s proposal would reduce the federal deficit by nearly $3 trillion over the next decade—the same amount mentioned in the Freedom Caucus’ austerity plan—Perry said Friday that the White House’s progressive tax and investment plan is “not happening.”

“Republicans readied a bill earlier this week that would prepare the government in the event of a default,” the Post reported, in an ominous sign. “The metric that the tax-focused

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