Republican Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy told “Fox & Friends” Wednesday that some of his fellow Republicans are partially responsible for the debt ceiling.
House Republicans and congressional Democrats have not reached a negotiation on handling the debt ceiling as it is expected to hit the $31.4 trillion borrowing cap Thursday. Democrats have opposed House Republicans’ calls for cuts in spending in order to raise the debt ceiling.
Kennedy, a member of the Senate Budget Committee, said a number of his fellow Senate Republicans joined the House and Senate Democrats in large spending that caused the major debt ceiling to nearly reach its limit.
“Congress had a spending party. More specifically, the House Democrats, not the House Republicans. The Senate Democrats and a whole lot of Senate Republicans had a spending party,” Kennedy said. “I didn’t vote to do it. I would’ve been happy with a couple of beers after work. But they wanted to have a spending party, and it wasn’t just Democrats. Those bills passed with a lot of Republican support. The omnibus, the so-called infrastructure bill, the CHIP Big Tech bailout bill, even the gun control bill which passed with Republican support cost $15 billion and that’s the unvarnished truth.”
Eighteen Republican senators voted in favor of the $1.66 trillion omnibus package in December, which outlines government spending for the 2023 fiscal year. The 4,155 paged-bill includes $575 million in funding for “family planning” and “reproductive health,” $2 million to renovate a Planned Parenthood clinic and $45 billion toward Ukraine. (RELATED: ‘Why Did You Say It?’: John Kennedy And Biden Nominee Trade Barbs In Heated Exchange)
Fourteen Senate Republicans, including Texas Sen. John Cornyn and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, voted to advance $15 billion legislation to increase gun control in June. The bill intends to ban the the import, sale, manufacture, transfer or possession of high-capacity magazines, and raise the age of purchasing certain rifles from 18 to 21.
Kennedy commended the House Republicans for their calls to cut spending, and said Congress cannot spend money once its runs out. He warned that if the House passes legislation to decrease this spending, the Democrat-led Senate and President Joe Biden scrap it.
“Here’s what I fear will happen,” he added. “The House Republicans will pass a bill raising the debt ceiling with cuts to spending. I’ll support it, but when they send it to President Biden and Senator [Chuck] Schumer, those two gentleman won’t even pause their video games to look at it. They’re gonna say no, we’re not gonna negotiate, default if you want to.”
He revealed that he is crafting a bill in the Senate to “force” a bipartisan negotiation on the current national debt. He appeared pessimistic as to whether it will be brought to the floor for vote or even supported by Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.