Biden Wants ‘Clean’ Debt Limit Hike – Americans Want Spending Cuts, Say He’s Being Irresponsible, Mishandling Budget

Craig Bannister | May 24, 2023
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With the U.S. at the brink of default, President Joe Biden is demanding that Congress pass a debt ceiling increase that doesn’t put a cap on government spending – but, that’s not what the majority of Americans want.

On Monday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen sent a letter to Congress warning that it is “highly likely” the U.S. government won’t be able to pay all its bills by early next month, if the debt ceiling isn’t raised or suspended.

Unlike the House-passed legislation, a so-called “clean” bill would raise the nation’s debt limit without putting restrictions on how much the federal government spends each year.

A new, national CNN-sponsored survey of U.S adults (18+), conducted May 17-20, reveals that Americans aren’t on board with Biden’s demand, as 60% say “Congress should only raise the debt ceiling if it cuts spending at the same time.”

Meanwhile, only a quarter (24%) believe Congress should raise the debt ceiling “no matter what.” Surprisingly, about one is six adults say Congress should not raise the debt ceiling, and “allow the U.S. to default on its debts.”

Even 45% of self-described Democrats say spending cuts must accompany any debt limit hike.

Two-thirds of Americans disapprove of the way Biden is handling the federal budget and, regarding his debt-limit negotiations, 59% say he’s behaving irresponsibly. Likewise, 64% of Americans think Congressional Republicans are not being responsible in their debt-ceiling discussions with the president.

Fully 71% foresee “major problems” – including one in four (24%) predicting a “crisis” – if the two sides don’t come to terms and raise the debt ceiling.

Most say it’ll have a “major negative impact,” if an agreement to raise the debt limit is not reached, though they perceive it to be more of a threat to the country, in general, than to their own lives.

Majorities of Americans say failure to increase the debt limit will have a devastating effect on the stock market (60%), their government’s credit rating (59%), and the U.S. economy (58%).

Only about a third (35%) think that failure to raise the ceiling will have a major negative effect on their personal financial situations, but 43% believe it would significantly increase the nation’s unemployment rate.

Last month, the Republican-controlled House passed the Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023, intended to “provide for a responsible increase to the debt ceiling, and for other purposes.”

Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 discretionary spending would be reduced to its FY 2022 level and future spending increases would be limited to one percent per year, if the bill is passed by the Senate and signed by Pres. Trump.

Provisions in the Limit, Save, Grow Act would cut the deficit by $400 billion this fiscal year by eliminating Pres. Biden’s student loan bailout and rescind the $80 billion earmarked to hire 87,000 additional IRS agents.

The business and economic reporting of is funded in part with a gift made in memory of Dr. Keith C. Wold.