‘That’s Not What The Poll Says’: Poppy Harlow Pushes Back Against Jayapal Over Debt Ceiling

[Screenshot CNN]

Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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CNN’s Poppy Harlow pushed back against Democratic Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal on Thursday after she mischaracterized the findings of a CNN poll on the debt ceiling.

Debt negotiations between House Republicans and the White House continue as the deadline to raise the debt ceiling looms. Republicans passed legislation that would cut federal spending by approximately $130 billion and impose work requirements for individuals receiving federal assistance, but the White House and Democratic lawmakers have condemned the proposal, calling for a debt ceiling increase with no strings attached.

Harlow highlighted a recent CNN poll that shows 60 percent of Americans think Congress should only raise the debt ceiling if spending cuts are part of the negotiation. (RELATED: Raskin Says Biden Can Circumvent Congress To Raise Debt Ceiling, Compares Him To Lincoln)

“That includes 58 percent of independents. Is your position out of step now, Congresswoman, with the majority of the American people?” Harlow asked.

“I’m so glad you raised that poll. Because I think it’s really important to look at what that poll says,” Jayapal responded. “If you just say to people, ‘Should we cut spending?’ they will probably say, ‘Yes.’ However, if you say, ‘Would you rather cut spending and reduce the deficit by cutting the tax breaks to the wealthiest corporations and wealthiest individuals, or would you like to cut your own health care, education, you know, care for veterans, et cetera?’ I guarantee you that you would have even higher numbers that say, ‘Let’s make sure that we’re making the wealthy pay their fair share.'”

“But that’s not what the poll says,” Harlow pushed back. “This is the exact question that was asked to voters: ‘What should Congress do on the debt ceiling?’ Raise only if spending cut, 60 percent. Raise no matter what, 24 percent. Not raise, let U.S. default, 15 percent.”

“These are what they’re saying to this critical question,” Harlow said.

“No, I understand,” Jayapal responded. “But Poppy, you can’t take tax cuts out of spending. You know, tax cuts for the wealthiest are spending. Don’t think that that isn’t spending. Under Donald Trump, they added almost $2 trillion to the deficit because they gave tax cuts to the wealthiest. That is spending. And I think the American people understand that that’s what needs to change, is we need to roll back those tax cuts and we need to actually make sure that we are reducing the deficit by making the wealthiest pay their fair share.”