Bernie Sanders slams Kevin McCarthy amid debt ceiling blame-game

Washington DC - Senator Bernie Sanders has dismissed remarks from House Speaker Kevin McCarthy seeking to blame him for the current debt ceiling impasse.

Senator Bernie Sanders has called out Republicans for demanding massive spending cuts to social programs during the ongoing debt limit showdown.
Senator Bernie Sanders has called out Republicans for demanding massive spending cuts to social programs during the ongoing debt limit showdown.  © ALEX WONG / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

Members of Congress are once again embroiled in a partisan dispute over the debt ceiling as the clock ticks toward national default, with Republicans seeking cuts in spending that could affect millions of everyday Americans around the country.

In recent weeks, GOP lawmakers have been accused of hostage taking in an effort to push through agenda.

Nevertheless, California Republican Kevin McCarthy took to Fox News on Sunday to blame Independent Senator Bernie Sanders for the debt limit showdown, claiming "when Bernie Sanders or AOC says something, the White House shifts to the other way."

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When asked by MSNBC's Ali Velshi what he thought of the House Speaker's remarks, Sanders responded, "Well, I doubt that very much."

"But to the degree that the White House says to these Republicans, 'Stop your hypocrisy. Stop defending the billionaire class from paying their fair share of taxes while you want to cut programs that the elderly the children, the sick and the poor need,' if I have any role – if progressives have any role in that, that’s great," he added.

Republicans demand spending cuts as Biden enters negotiations

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has sought to blame Bernie Sanders and progressives for the US government's impending default.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has sought to blame Bernie Sanders and progressives for the US government's impending default.  © MANDEL NGAN / AFP

Republicans' proposed cuts would severely limit access to Medicaid, nutrition services, housing assistance, childcare programs, and more. Meanwhile, GOP members are pushing for an increase to the already astronomical military budget and huge tax breaks for the ultra wealthy.

"The hypocrisy of Speaker McCarthy and the Republican 'deficit hawks' is breathtaking. While they propose savage cuts to the needs of working families, children, the elderly, the sick and the poor, they push for trillions in tax breaks for the billionaire class. Give me a break!" Sanders tweeted on Sunday.

In the midst of the debt ceiling drama, Biden cut his travel plans short and announced he would return directly from the three-day G7 leaders' summit in Hiroshima, Japan, in order to continue negotiations.

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The president and the House Speaker reportedly spoke by phone on Sunday and are expected to meet on Monday.

If Congress does not authorize more borrowing, the US government could default on its $31-trillion debt as early as June 1, potentially triggering a global recession.

Cover photo: Collage: ALEX WONG / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP & MANDEL NGAN / AFP

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