GOP Group of 16 Complicates McCarthy’s Debt Ceiling Leverage

Thu Feb 23, 2023 AT 10:42 AM EST

Sixteen House Republicans have never voted to raise the debt ceiling — even under former President Donald Trump — complicating Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s hand as he seeks to browbeat the Biden administration into spending cuts.

Why it matters: The entrenched opposition means McCarthy could need Democratic votes for any package that ties hiking the debt ceiling to budget cuts. 

As it stands, Republicans are already divided over which government programs to cut — handing Democrats an opening to accuse them of wanting to axe Social Security and Medicare. 

The Biden administration, meanwhile, has thus far refused to negotiate while the debt ceiling is being held hostage — casting it as a bipartisan obligation that Congress has accepted under presidents of both parties. Read Full Story

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