In the midst of mounting concerns surrounding a possible catastrophic default in the United States, Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries took center stage at the House podium joined by a group of Members of the House Democratic Caucus who have served in the military to deliver his weekly press conference. The Pavlovic Today asked Democratic Leader Jeffries about remarks made by Karine Jean-Pierre at the White House, where she emphasized that preventing a catastrophic default should not be viewed as a concession but rather as a fundamental responsibility the Republicans have to uphold.
“As someone who is on the inside of negotiations, what kind of concessions are you asking Republicans to make?,” inquired The Pavlovic Today. “What is the absolute red line for you, given that Senator Schumer said last week that you are not willing to sacrifice your values? Are the veterans that red line that you’re not willing to cross?”
The Pavlovic Today further probed House Democratic Leader Jeffries as to whether he thinks the influence of the former President Trump still holds a significant sway over a faction within the Republican Party who wants to plunge the United States into the abyss of default.
“I can answer that question right now easily,” Leader Hakeem Jeffries responded to The Pavlovic Today. “Yes, President Trump clearly continues to hold tremendous sway. And that’s one of the reasons why we’re in this situation because he has effectively told them to default unless the extreme MAGA Republicans can extract painful cuts, such as those that would impact our veterans. That is a red line for us,” stated Jeffries before letting Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Mark Allan Tokano elucidate why safeguarding the interests of veterans is a non-negotiable red line for the Democratic party.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz says Republicans “protesting like stuck pigs”
Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz emphasized the significance of the MilCon-VA Bill and said that it serves as a crucial starting point due to its longstanding bipartisan support.
“Even when you have two sides voting differently, we craft that bill together,” she said in response to the question raised by The Pavlovic Today. “We support our veterans, we support our military service members,” she added. Wasserman Schultz pointed out that MilCon-VA Bill’s markup was canceled along with the rest of them as result of the Republicans lacking the necessary votes.
“They didn’t want to come to that committee and have that stain on their record of having disrespected and broken the promise that we made a year ago to our veterans,” said the Congresswoman.
Wasserman Schultz highlighted the recent cancellation of markup sessions for fiscal 2024 government funding bills by House Republicans, as debt limit negotiations are taking place.
“Given recent developments in the negotiations between Speaker McCarthy and the President, and in order to give the Speaker maximum flexibility as talks continue, the Committee will postpone this week’s markups,” House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Kay Granger (R-Texas) said in a statement.
Rep. Wasserman Schultz went on to say that the Republicans were “protesting like stuck pigs” despite being aware of the evidence that substantiates the truth.
“That’s why they didn’t have that vote today,” she said, emphasizing how Republicans aimed to avoid tarnishing their record and reneging on their promise to veterans, which is “in black and white in that bill.”
Rep. Mark Allan Takano: Republicans do not have the votes to make the cuts that they are trying to bully President Biden into making
To elaborate further on what Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Affairs and Veterans Affairs Wasserman Schultz said in response to the question raised by The Pavlovic Today, Rep Mark Allan Takano emphasized the looming deadline for bond sales and the necessity of fulfilling financial obligations. “We need to make sure that we make good on the bills that we need to pay,” said Takano.
He noted that the government’s funding is secured until the end of September, and the vote the Republicans were supposed to make was on the MilCon-VA Bill in the Appropriations Committee.
“They do not have the votes to make the cuts that they are trying to bully the President into making,” revealed Rep. Mark Allan Takano.
The underlying goal of the Republicans, according to Takano, is to shift the blame onto President Biden. He highlighted that President Biden has already presented a comprehensive budget reducing the deficit. “They’re trying to bully their way into cuts that their own caucus cannot pass.” Rep. Takano expressed his hope that by the end of September, Republicans would be able to present an Appropriations Bill that incorporates the desired budget cuts.
“I’m going to tell you, this can’t happen in four days,” stated the Congressman. “I authored the PACT Act. It passed last summer. And you will recall that they called the cost of war toxic exposure funds, Senator Toomey said it was a slush fund, and that’s why he couldn’t support it, flipped 21 votes in the Senate, high-fiving with Ted Cruz on the floor that they stopped this. It was only after veterans slept on the Senate steps and shamed the Congress, shamed the Senate into putting the bill back into the House when we finally passed it, that the Republicans knuckled under. We had a bipartisan agreement not to put the cost of war to wall, we had a bipartisan agreement to fund the cost of war and not make it compete with other domestic priorities and not make it compete with defense,” explained Takano.
He said that the markup Republicans put yesterday in which they didn’t want to have a stain on their record of putting $15 billion into discretionary spending. What that means effectively, according to Rep. Mark Allan Takano, is that it actually robs veterans of housing and SNAP benefits. “So my thing is, they’re bullying through, they’re trying to bully through cuts that they can’t even get the votes for in their own caucus.”
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