Ever since they shortsightedly rushed to pass the Default on America Act, House Republicans’ constituents have been learning more and more about the devastating cuts they are holding our nation’s economy hostage to make.
The haphazard vote has shed new light on just how much self-described moderates have caved to the extreme and dangerous agenda of the extreme MAGA wing of the conference. Including when it comes to slashing funding for federal law enforcement.
In that vein, one of the most alarming consequences the Default on America Act would have is to supercharge the fentanyl crisis, causing widespread new pain in terms of crime and public health.
Drug cartels would see a windfall thanks to House Republicans, at the expense of border states and communities fighting fentanyl trafficking all over the United States.
That’s because the Default on America Act would cut thousands of agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency, the FBI, and the Border Patrol. When blocking fentanyl smuggling is one of President Biden’s top priorities, they would tie the hands of the law enforcement professionals on the front lines.
The Border Patrol alone would see over 2,000 agents terminated, which would allow more than 900 pounds of deadly fentanyl into the country.
To make matters worse, the Default on America Act would also cost millions of Americans their health care coverage, making treatment for addiction further out of reach for an untold number of families.
And keep in mind that nearly the entire House Republican Conference – again, including members who claim to be “moderate” – not only went on the record endorsing this wildly out of the mainstream agenda; they are threatening to singlehandedly trigger a recession if they don’t get to force it into law. Senate Republicans signaled over the weekend that they may take the same position.
House Republicans are already opposing the unprecedented border security funding we’ve delivered. And they are protecting drug cartels’ access to AR-15s by obstructing the centerpiece of President Biden’s strategy for stopping gun crime: an assault weapons ban.
Now they’re threatening millions of jobs, small businesses, and retirement accounts unless they can cripple the law enforcement agencies the entire country is depending on to fight the fentanyl epidemic.
It’s long past time for the House Republican Conference to remember the bipartisan votes they took to avoid default without conditions throughout the Trump Administration and to work with President Biden to increase law enforcement resources and devastate the drug cartels bringing deadly fentanyl into American communities.
Andrew Bates is the White House Deputy Press Secretary and Senior Communications Adviser.
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