Radical right Republicans on verge of hysteria regarding tonight’s debt bill vote
Rep. Ro Khanna said that although he would cast a protest vote against the debt deal negotiated by McCarthy and Biden he felt the president did as well as he could considering that he was literally held hostage by Republicans. | Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Rep. Ro Khanna, Democrat of California, said this morning on national television that Republicans had held President Biden hostage over the requirement that the United States not be allowed to default on its national debt but that, considering his options, “the president did the best he could.”

Khanna noted that he and the rest of the members of the Progressive Caucus of Democratic House Members were deeply opposed to various features of the deal, especially one which increases the number of people who will face work requirements in exchange for receiving federal food assistance benefits including food stamps.

Khanna said that most important, however, is that the deal prevents a default which would cause economic pain and catastrophe here at home and seriously harm the entire world economy. In addition, he noted, the bill preserves much of the positive economic agenda of the last two years and the cuts were nowhere near the 22 percent across-the-board cuts that the radical right Republicans had wanted.

Khanna said that, nevertheless, he and other progressives will cast a protest vote against it, leaving it to Republicans not under the control of the Freedom Caucus and centrist Democrats to come up with the votes to pass the measure tonight.

“We under no circumstances, however, are like the Republicans who are willing to sacrifice the full faith and credit of the United States in exchange for pieces of our agenda,” Khanna noted. He pointed out that he and others have been life-long supporters of Medicare for All but “would never dream of holding up the paying of our national debt unless Congress accepted Medicare for All. That’s just not the way we govern in the United States.”

The radical right Republicans do try to govern that way especially when their unpopular agenda cannot win the support of the people. “Not one Republican should vote for this bill,” Rep. Chip Roy, a leading member of the Freedom Caucus said today. “We will continue to fight this and no matter what happens there is going to be a reckoning unless we stop this bill.”

It is clear, of course, that even if Biden had blown through the threats and sabotage by using the 14th Amendment, the entire budget battle would happen again anyway as part of the Budget Negotiations for 2024. The radical right would still be carrying on their chaos with the added possible involvement of the right-wing Supreme Court.

So the vote on the compromise debt deal will come tonight in the House and later in the Senate. The one thing clear right now at this moment, however, is that efforts must be strengthened up and down the line, all across the nation, to defeat the MAGA Republicans in their races for Congress, the Senate, and the White House. This latest debt deal debacle proves once again that the people of the U.S. have no choice but to do everything they can to stop all of the right-wing terrorist attempts to hold onto or to gain political office anywhere in the nation.

We hope you appreciated this article. At People’s World, we believe news and information should be free and accessible to all, but we need your help. Our journalism is free of corporate influence and paywalls because we are totally reader-supported. Only you, our readers and supporters, make this possible. If you enjoy reading People’s World and the stories we bring you, please support our work by donating or becoming a monthly sustainer today. Thank you!


John Wojcik
John Wojcik

John Wojcik is Editor-in-Chief of People's World. He joined the staff as Labor Editor in May 2007 after working as a union meat cutter in northern New Jersey. There, he served as a shop steward and a member of a UFCW contract negotiating committee. In the 1970s and '80s, he was a political action reporter for the Daily World, this newspaper's predecessor, and was active in electoral politics in Brooklyn, New York.