Speaking during an interview with Donald Trump Jr. on Trump’s “Triggered,” podcast, Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy finally addressed the Social Security and Medicare question, saying “We won’t touch Medicare or Social Security.” Watch that here:
That comment comes alongside a claim from the co-founder of Punchbowl News, Jake Sherman, who said on Twitter that “NEW:@Sen_JoeManchin just met w @SpeakerMcCarthy on the debt limit. MANCHIN said McCarthy told him he will not cut social security and Medicare” he later added that “Manchin also said he hopes Biden will negotiate over the debt limit.”
Manchin also said he hopes Biden will negotiate over the debt limit. https://t.co/cObUzQsTAe
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) January 25, 2023
Manchin made a similar comment on CNN’s “State of the Union,” saying “We have to negotiate. This is the democracy that we have. We have a two-party system, if you will, and we should be able to talk and find out what our differences are.”
Speaker McCarthy, in not calling for cuts to those entitlement programs, is siding with former President Donald Trump in the battle over what to cut. Trump, in a video released to Truth Social, said “Under no circumstances should Republicans vote to cut a single penny from Medicare or Social Security to help pay for Joe Biden’s reckless spending spree.”
Continuing, former President Trump added “While we absolutely need to stop Biden’s out of control spending, the pain should be borne by Washington bureaucrats, not by hard-working American families and American seniors. The seniors are being absolutely destroyed in the last two years.”
The fight over what to cut and whether to negotiate is important because America has hit the debt limit and has until June 5th to sort something out, as Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen informed Speaker McCarthy in a January 19th letter, saying:
I write to keep you apprised of actions the Treasury Department is taking in regard to the debt limit. In my letter of January 13, 2023, I noted that Public Law 117-73 increased the statutory debt limit to a level of $31.381 trillion, and informed you that beginning on January 19, the outstanding debt of the United States was projected to reach the statutory limit. This letter serves to notify you, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 8348(l)(2), of the extraordinary measures Treasury began using today.
First, I have determined that, by reason of the statutory debt limit, I will be unable to fully invest the portion of the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund (CSRDF) not immediately required to pay beneficiaries, and that a “debt issuance suspension period” will begin on Thursday, January 19, 2023, and last through Monday, June 5, 2023. My predecessors have declared debt issuance suspension periods under similar circumstances. With these determinations, the Treasury Department will suspend additional investments of amounts credited to, and redeem a portion of the investments held by, the CSRDF, as expressly authorized by law.
So, Congress will have to either raise the debt ceiling, drastically cut spending, dramatically increase government revenues, or some combination of the three, and McCarthy, in not touching Medicare or Social Security, is limiting his options somewhat, but is also likely strengthening his political position with America’s seniors.
By: Will Tanner. Follow me on Twitter @Will_Tanner_1