Democrats won’t raise debt ceiling with spending cuts, says Hakeem Jeffries: NPR


New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, the new leader of the House Democrats, has insisted that the looming crisis will come if his party does not bow to demands from Republicans who want to negotiate spending cuts in exchange for their support for raising the debt ceiling. The national debt crisis will be resolved.

“There’s a difference between a compromise and a ransom note. So let me be clear. We’re not going to pay each other’s extremists a ransom note,” Jeffries said this week in an interview with NPR’s Steve Inskeep when said.

Asked whether Democrats would stand by their position even if it meant risking a default, Jeffries flatly rejected that scenario, saying: “We’re not going to let cars fall off a cliff, even if the Someone willing to do it.”

Jeffries added that there is “a time and a place to talk about future spending,” arguing that those conversations should take place later in the year, when Congress typically decides on spending levels through the appropriations process.

Jeffries saw the end of this latest confrontation.

“We’re going to find a way legislatively,” Jeffries said, allowing Democrats to vote with “a handful of rational Republicans” to save the country from economic catastrophe.

Jeffries made the remarks in a wide-ranging interview at the U.S. Capitol, where he recently moved into the office of the House minority leader. Speaking about his new job, he said he would work with as many people as possible, but would oppose extreme measures, including threatening to exceed the debt ceiling.

Jeffries, 52, is a member of the House of Representatives. Nancy Pelosi’s successor as House Democratic leader and the first black leader of a congressional party. His party was narrowly in the minority after last year’s midterm elections. Republicans have a four-seat majority in the House of Representatives. But Jeffries believes his caucus will be able to wield some power whenever Republicans grapple with internal divisions.

House Republicans have shown a split this month, with fifteen rounds of voting required before the election of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Democrats are united: Every vote on every ballot they voted for Jeffries.

A Brooklyn native, he was the son of a public official turned corporate lawyer before rising through New York’s bare-handed politics. Elected to Congress in 2012, he proved an effective partisan supporter as one of the administrators of President Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial and was influential within his own party Power, rising in the Democratic leadership.

Although Jeffries himself has a largely progressive voting record, he said he would not “bend the knee” to “far left socialists”.

During our conversation, Jeffries didn’t criticize his fellow Democrats, saying, “We all got off to a good start as a family, or even criticize Speaker McCarthy, who in the past has accused McCarthy of being a ‘sellout’ to Donald.” trump card.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Interview tidbits

About cooperation with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy

Speaker McCarthy and I had some very positive, forward-looking conversations trying to figure out where we could find common ground. We know we’re going to be strongly opposed in some areas. That means we should try harder to figure out where the common ground is so we can deliver.

SI: I want to clarify. A year or two ago, you said McCarthy wasn’t a serious guy because he had effectively sold himself to Donald Trump. But you’re saying you’re in a room with him now and having a productive conversation.

Kevin McCarthy was elected Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. I think he had the confidence of his caucus and the vast majority of his conferences, and it turns out he ended up getting there as a speaker.

About the debt ceiling

We’ve paid those bills. We need to pay them. In fact… 25% of our debt was incurred during the four years of Donald Trump’s presidency. So, number one, we are not taught fiscal responsibility. Second, we need to make it clear to the American people that the debt ceiling discussion is all about paying the bills that have already been incurred. Third, we will not negotiate with someone who has a gun on the American people, the economy, Social Security, and Medicare by threatening to default on our debts.

On whether House Democrats will Republicans Raise Debt Ceiling

There is a difference between a compromise and a ransom note. So let me be clear. We will not pay ransoms to each other’s extremists. However, as President Biden noted, there is a time and a place to discuss future spending. President Biden will introduce a budget. House Republicans on the budget committee will have the opportunity to do the same. We can go through the budget process. We can go through the grant process. These are the right tools to try to find common ground as it relates to how we spend taxpayer money in the future.

Democrats must raise leverage on debt ceiling without major concessions

Ultimately, we’ll be able to convince a handful of reasonable Republicans in the House to do what the business community across America suggests needs to be done. What the U.S. Chamber of Commerce thinks needs to be done. What Wall Street says needs to be done. This is to ensure that we pay the bills that have already been incurred in the United States.

On Bringing Progressive and Moderate Democrats Together

I think we all got off to a good start as a family, as a caucus. As I have repeatedly stated, I have great respect for every member of the House Democratic Caucus, from Rep. Ocasio-Cortez to Rep. Josh Gottheimer and everything in between. Because of the fact that we are so diverse, in terms of race or gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, life experience, ideology and geography. This is what makes the House Democratic Caucus the truest representation of the American people, in my opinion, because we are so much alike and reflect a gorgeous mosaic of the American people.

about recent discoveries More classified documents mishandled by White House officials, including President Biden, former vice president burns and others

The matter is now being handled by a Special Counsel as it concerns the current President and the most recent previous President of the United States of America. I think my point is that the Special Counsel will follow the facts, apply the law, be guided by the Constitution, and ultimately provide information about what happened to the American people and the Department of Justice. So I don’t want to get out before the special counsel, but I do think that at some point, Congress may discuss disposing of classified documents generally in a way that makes the most sense as we go forward.

Efforts to Election the Speaker of the House of Representatives for the 118th Congress

I never thought I’d hear my name, I think about 3,179 times.

This interview was produced and edited by Julie Depenbrock, Barry Gordemer and Simone Popperl. Padmananda Rama edited it into a digital edition.

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