Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) went after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and House Republicans on Sunday for “saying that they are going to … blow up our economy” if their demands aren’t met amid debt ceiling talks.
President Joe Biden and McCarthy look to meet again on Monday as GOP lawmakers seek significant spending cuts in exchange for a lift of the debt ceiling. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned the country could default on its obligations as soon as June 1 if action is not taken.
In an interview with ABC’s “This Week” anchor Martha Raddatz, Van Hollen said Republicans “won’t accept one penny” in deficit reduction from closing tax loopholes before pointing to moves under former President Donald Trump’s administration.
“The farce of this whole thing is that, under Donald Trump, we raised the debt ceiling three times. Forty percent of our national debt actually was accumulated during the four years of the Trump administration,” said Van Hollen, who revealed he was “extremely worried” where negotiations were.
“And now they’re not willing to talk about any revenue from very wealthy people as part of this effort,” he added.
Van Hollen referred to the talks as an “insane situation” and declared that a default would destroy the American economy.
“What we have right now is Speaker McCarthy and MAGA House Republicans saying that they are going to push the default detonator and blow up our economy if they don’t get their way on their budget proposals,” he said.
He later added: “Republicans are saying if they don’t get things their way, they’re going to blow up the economy.”
Van Hollen emphasized what he called “a really important difference” between Democrats and Republicans: Democrats, along with Biden, aren’t threatening to annihilate the economy if they don’t get their way.