As Republicans and Democrats gird for a prolonged fight over the debt ceiling, President Biden on Thursday attacked the GOP for ideas that he said could result in economic chaos.
At an event held in a union facility in Springfield, Virginia, to tout his economic agenda, Biden went through a list of Republican proposals. He said Republicans are looking to slash Social Security and Medicare benefits and are threatening to default on America’s debt.
“This one I love: They want to impose a 30% national sales tax on everything from food, clothing, school supplies, housing, cars, the whole deal,” he said, citing a plan proposed by some House conservatives. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has promised to bring that plan, called the FAIR Tax Act, up for a vote, though he also told reporters this week that he opposes it.
Biden promised he would “veto everything” House Republicans send to him. And he said again that he won’t negotiate over raising the debt limit. “I will not let anyone use the full faith and credit of the United States as a bargaining chip,” Biden said. “In the United States of America, we pay our debts.”
Biden’s comments come as he and Republicans led by McCarthy appear destined for a drawn-out confrontation over the nation’s economic policies, debt limit and government spending.
“Washington Democrats’ $10 trillion spending spree created a vicious cycle of deficit spending leading to high inflation and rising interest rates that are crushing families and small businesses,” House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (R-MO) said in a statement Thursday. Smith called on Biden and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to negotiate on spending cuts. “Unless Congress can get a handle on its spending problem, the American people worry the economy will not deliver for them,” he said.