Democratic South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn said Wednesday on MSNBC that the debt ceiling should be completely eliminated.
The House is slated to vote on the Fiscal Responsibility Act on Wednesday night, with the legislation expected to pass with bipartisan support. The bill would suspend the debt ceiling through January 1, 2025, and does not specify a dollar amount by which the limit will be raised. It also includes work requirements for welfare recipients.
“Congressman … there have been concerns as you just addressed from some of the progressives around work requirements and other things,” MSNBC contributor Al Sharpton said. “But give people a sense, where we are — 11 and a half, 12 hours away from the vote. If the president had been obstinate and let this go over the cliff, the people that we claim to be most concerned about would have been in a real disaster. I don’t think a lot of people understand that if we allow the country to go into default, the people at the bottom of the economic ladder would have been in a catastrophic place.” (RELATED: Harris Faulkner Grills Kevin McCarthy After House Freedom Caucus Launches New Revolt)
“Absolutely. You’re talking about people in need of Medicaid, people in need of Medicare, you’re talking about people’s social security checks. We’re talking about veterans benefits. These are people who have given their all. Look, senior citizens didn’t drop out the sky, they made tremendous contributions to all of us being where we are today. They’re now in their golden years, they need their Medicare, we ought not do anything to ruin that. And the same thing with people on Medicaid,” Clyburn said. “We forget that a lot of people on Medicaid, not just low income people, but people living in nursing homes, these are people who have given their all and we ought to be taking care of them.”
“We should not allow them to be jeopardized with their quality of life, while we argue over political stuff. So you know, I’m not a proponent of having a debt limit. I don’t think we ought to have that at all,” he continued. “I don’t know why we have this debt limit. I want to just get this thing behind us, pass this bill tonight and next week, start working on getting rid of the debt limit altogether.”
Other Democrats have called for the debt ceiling to be abolished, with Sens. Chris Van Holley of Maryland and Brian Schatz of Hawaii introducing a bill in late April to get rid of the national debt limit. Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet said eliminating the debt ceiling would remove the threat of default.