After approving massive spending bills under Trump, Republican senators are “preparing to re-embrace their inner deficit hawk,” according to a Friday report from The Hill.
Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who will most likely become the chairman of the Budget Committee if the GOP keeps the Senate, has floated establishing a commission to reduce deficits
“I think we’ve got to understand that we’re going to be raising the debt ceiling in perpetuity if we don’t find a way to bend the curve,” Graham said, brushing off accusations of hypocrisy.
“We got here together, right? I’m not saying the Republican Party is the answer, we’re not,” he continued, arguing that “there’s got to be some shared understanding of the problem.”
Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the second highest-ranking conservative in the upper chamber, echoed these sentiments, saying that his party is ready to get back to its “DNA” and pivot back to aggressive austerity.
“Whoever is in the White House I hope they realize how serious the debt crisis is and how important it is that we put measures in place to address it.”
Sen. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota said that Republicans will “require some sort of conditions,” such as spending cuts, when the time comes to increase the debt ceiling.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, meanwhile, has said that lawmakers need to be “cautious” about approving major spending bills in the future.
Asked to comment on the GOP’s renewed focus on fiscal responsibility, Democrat Chris Murphy of Connecticut said that Republicans don’t care about the issue “when we’re cutting billionaires and corporations,” but talk it up when the American people need financial help.
As The Hill noted, this could pose a major issue for Biden, especially if Republicans keep the Senate. The coronavirus has devastated the economy and the former vice president has vowed to push an ambitious agenda and stimulate the markets.
The deficit increased under Trump. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress passed several bills that totaled almost $2.8 trillion. Now, conservative lawmakers are calling for “targeted” legislation in the neighborhood of $500 billion. Democrats, meanwhile, are pushing for at least $2.2 trillion in relief.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the GOP seems poised to keep control of the upper chamber. However, if Democrats win both January runoffs in the state of Georgia they will have enough seats to ensure a 50-50 split.