WASHINGTON, D.C. – Reporting in the Washington Post today reveals Senate Republicans are dusting off their old playbook from the Obama era and threatening to force the nation into defaulting on its debt obligations, which already cost taxpayers and the U.S. economy dearly when Republicans recklessly obstructed the process in 2011 and 2013. Their criticism of emergency spending during a once-in-a-century pandemic rings hollow coming from many of the same Republican senators who enabled $4.7 trillion of new debt under President Trump.  

The 2017 tax plan backed by Senate Republicans was overwhelmingly skewed towards the ultra-wealthy and huge multi-national corporations. An Accountable.US analysis shows that the same senators who vocally supported these measures under Trump are the ones loudly speaking out against spending under the new Biden administration.  

“When it comes to help for working families during a crisis and making smart investments in our future, Senate Republicans object — yet they can’t get enough of unpaid-for tax cuts that go to big corporations that ship jobs overseas,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “No one should take Senate Republicans’ debt rhetoric seriously after rubber stamping the deficit-busting Trump tax cuts for the rich. But their threats will have serious consequences for the economy, not to mention their hostage demands on federal spending would lead to deep cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits.”   

BACKGROUND:

Under Trump, Republican senators passed $4.7 trillion of debt into law, including: 

  • TRUMP TAX CUTS: $1.8 trillion in debt from the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), which disproportionately benefitted the ultra-wealthy.
    • TCJA provided a tax write off for private jet buyers, doubled the number of companies paying zero in federal taxes, and gave corporations a permanent tax cut while individual tax cuts are set to expire in 2025.
    • 51 Republican senators voted for the TCJA, and many defended their support of the bill by falsely claiming the bill would be deficit-neutral and even waving away debt concerns altogether.
       
  • MAJOR SPENDING BILLS: $2.7 trillion in debt combined from three major spending bills.
    • Republican senators backed the Bipartisan Budget Acts of 2018 and 2019 and government funding bill H.R. 1865, despite their lofty costs.
       
  • THEY WOULD’VE DONE MORE: If they had their way, key Republican senators would have passed additional, potentially trillions-more-expensive proposals over the last four years that would have increased the national debt even more.
    • Republican senators supported repealing the Affordable Care Act, which the CBO estimated would add $5 trillion to the debt. 

Read the full analysis from Accountable.US here

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