“Lives and livelihoods are on the line because MAGA Republicans have chosen to use them, use the American people, as a bargaining chip.”
Democratic Whip and Massachusetts Rep. Katherine Clark, in a press conference Friday morning, called out Republicans once again for threatening to cut federal spending as debt ceiling negotiations strike midnight.
Both Democrats and Republicans are aiming to strike a deal by this weekend, and members of the Massachusetts delegation have continued to attack the GOP’s plan to default on the country’s federal spending. Through weeks of negotiations, Clark has spoken at length on the House floor, held press conferences, and called upon five Republican representatives to join the Democrats plan to raise the debt ceiling without spending cuts, and “avoid catastrophe.”
During the press conference in Revere, Clark discussed how Republicans are holding several important federal programs hostage and creating a false choice, where both options — devastating cuts or a devastating default — could result in economic turmoil.
“Lives and livelihoods are on the line because MAGA Republicans have chosen to use them, use the American people, as a bargaining chip,” she said. “They openly admitted they have taken America hostage — not the White house, not Congress, not Democrats — the American people.”
With either of these two choices, Clark said, Americans could face higher mortgage rates, gutted retirement accounts, and the loss of over eight million jobs, SNAP benefits, social security payments, military paychecks, and essential veteran services — all during Memorial Day weekend.
“It’s a tough weekend to be in the military, when you have friends that never made it back, gold star families preparing for the Memorial Day holiday, and you’re wondering if food will be on the table on June 1 or if your paycheck is going to hit,” said Marc Silvestri, former member of the U.S. Army and director of Revere’s Veterans Service Office.
Lawmakers have continued to make progress on a spending deal, a notable improvement from deadlocked negotiations from last week. But Massachusetts Democrats have expressed concern that a compromise could mean the loss of several essential programs. Some lawmakers have called upon President Joe Biden to use the 14th Amendment to bypass Congress, and raise the ceiling himself — Clark said during the press conference that this move would be risky, but “should remain a tool.”
Biden and his cabinet have signaled they will not use the 14th Amendment in place of a deal.
Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, who signed a letter with several other progressives in support of possibly using the 14th Amendment — admonished Republicans on the House floor Thursday, calling GOP lawmakers “clueless.”
“Republicans continue to govern in a way that is clueless, callous, and with great contempt, and I would say godless, because faith without works is dead,” she said.
Worcester Democrat Jim McGovern has worked to ensure SNAP benefits make it through negotiations, even approaching an administrator at an engagement party to discuss negotiations.
All Massachusetts representatives in Congress have agreed to raise the ceiling. However, negotiations are ongoing as Republicans and Democrats work to find a deal that reduces spending enough to please the GOP and maintains enough spending to fund mainly-Democratic supported programs.
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Source : https://www.boston.com/news/national-news/2023/05/26/clark-mass-reps-call-out-gop-as-debt-ceiling-negotiations-continue/