GOP’s mid-term gains could bode market-shaking debt limit fight

But Republicans will insist on some type of spending restraint, he said, because “with a new majority, they’re all tough, and now is the time to do their part.” This is the most difficult question for our conference.

Pfeiffer, who is now an author and podcast host, said Biden had witnessed Obama’s fight as vice president and was unlikely to be willing to negotiate another round of spending cuts. . “Engaging in negotiations in 2011 was very expensive, and we would not do it again,” he said.

Even though initial spending caps were raised in subsequent budget deals, Democrats say the net result has still weighed on national discretionary spending, leaving health care, education and environmental needs unaddressed for years. . Biden’s first budget as president, they say, was an attempt to reverse years of underinvestment in needed programs.

And for all the political pain of discretionary spending cuts, some analysts say the 2011 law and subsequent debt limit fights did little to contain deficits.

Instead, debt rose from 70% of gross domestic product in fiscal year 2011 to 79% of GDP in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, said policy director Louise Scheiner. from the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at the Brookings Institution. , who testified at a House Budget Committee hearing last month on a Democratic push to abolish the debt ceiling.

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John A. Bogar