President Joe Biden’s Deputy Director of National Economic Council, Bharat Ramamurti, said Tuesday on CNN that spending caps could be “overridden” if need be.
Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy and Biden have struck a deal to raise the debt ceiling, stipulating a freeze on non-defense discretionary spending at fiscal year 2022 levels, capping federal spending increases at one percent per year over a six-year period, work requirements for welfare recipients, resuming student loan payments and permitting reform to speed up energy projects.
Host Kate Bolduan noted some Republicans are upset about the increase in military spending, arguing it’s not enough to keep up with inflation. Bolduan then played a recent clip in which Biden said he had no concerns about the possibility of needing and obtaining extra financial resources.
“Obviously, if there’s any existential need for additional funding, I have no doubt we’d be able to get it because we’d jointly do it,” Biden said. (RELATED: ‘Republicans Got Outsmarted’: Nancy Mace Comes Out Against McCarthy’s Debt Ceiling Deal)
“When I heard that, Bharat, I started thinking, ‘If that really is the case, are these spending caps put in place actually real?’ I mean, is any of this set in stone, as the president says, ‘If we really need it, we will figure out a way and we will get it?'” Bolduan asked.
“Look, the reality of these spending caps is they can always be overridden in the future if there is a really strong need for something,” Ramamurti said. “We saw it with Ukraine, where we got additional funding as necessary to support the efforts in Ukraine. We have seen it in the past when we needed additional money for natural disasters or whatever the case may be.”
“The reality of governing is that you make a plan, you do your best to make a commonsense plan and then you deviate from it as necessary, depending on the needs of the country,” he continued. “The president is realistic about that. But, again, this level of defense funding reflects what the Pentagon thinks is an adequate level of funding going forward, so we’re satisfied with that level, as well.”