Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) and CBS host Tony Dokoupil squared off in an interview Thursday where Dokoupil tried unsuccessfully to educate the veteran lawmaker on matters of the debt ceiling debate currently in Congress.
The host began by whining about the “anxiety” he believes the Republicans are causing the nation by dealing in “brinkmanship” over the debt ceiling, falsely asserting that it concerns only past spending and not new spending.
Toomey started in, “Well, a couple of corrections, really. It’s very frequently that it has been passed on a party-line vote and not always bipartisan, but more importantly and fundamentally, it’s not about past spending. It’s about future spending.”
He made sure that Doukapil understood that the 3.5 trillion-dollar spending bill is actually more like a 5.5 trillion-dollar spending bill, and it has not been passed, thereby quashing the notion that raising the debt ceiling is about past spending.
As Democrats negotiate among themselves to raise the debt ceiling and move two spending bills forward, Republicans are standing aside.@SenToomey spoke with @TonyDokoupil on the partisan effort. pic.twitter.com/fztRxQgxrP
— CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) September 30, 2021
Toomey added, “Our Democrats want an unprecedented spending blowout, they’re going to have to raise the debt to facilitate it.”
The CBS host then attempted to argue from authority by citing a printout he had in front of him, saying “But senator, according to the U.S. Treasury, the debt limit does not authorize new spending commitments.” He went on to contend that even if the Democrats get nothing of what they are demanding, the debt limit would still have to be raised.
Toomey replied, “You would not have to raise it as soon, and you would not have to raise it as much.”
He continued to explain that there is a “central truth” that Democrats “don’t want the American people to focus on,” which is “if you go on a huge spending binge, you will have to borrow more money than you otherwise would.”
“If there’s a party that has complete control of the government, they want to do this all on their own, they’ve developed the procedures, they’re executing the procedures so they can spend all this money all by themselves if they can reach an agreement among themselves, but then they want Republicans to facilitate it all by enabling the borrowing that will be necessary to fund all that spending. They can do that themselves,” Toomey said.
As is their wont, the CBS host turned to the Trump administration with the tired and childish “But what about blank?” style of debate.
He remarked that the debt limit had been increased twice under Trump and that Democrats had gone along with it. He wondered why Republicans wouldn’t grant the same “courtesy” to the Dems who now have all the power in government.
“First of all, it’s not a matter of a courtesy. The Democrats charge a price for that,” Toomey said, dismissing the question. “When they are available to vote for a debt ceiling increase, when they offer the willingness to do it, it’s always if we agree to even more spending to make the problem worse.”
The host then cited “a lot of economists” who say “it’s okay” to carry 28 trillion in debt, to which Toomey replied, “Yeah, and a lot don’t.”
“Your party could relieve us of this conversation, this anxiety, this potential catastrophe, as [Treasury Secretary] Janet Yellen puts it, of America defaulting on its debt. Someone has got to be the adult in the room here. Why not the Republicans?” Dokoupil asked.
“So you point to my party. I’ve got to chuckle,” Toomey replied. “Which party has the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives? I’m pretty sure it’s the Democrats. And we have told them from the beginning that if you want to go on this unprecedented spending spree, you will have to raise the debt ceiling that’s going to contribute to paying for it.”
“Chuck Schumer could have done this months ago… he could do it today… There’s nothing Republicans can do. We can’t stop them. They have the tools to raise the debt ceiling and so they will raise the debt ceiling, but they’re hoping that they’ll get some Republicans to share the blame for all of this debt and all of this spending that’s causing it and that’s just not going to happen,” Toomey added.
Dokoupil tried to get in the last shot by reasserting that the debt ceiling has nothing to do with future spending, only past spending. He cited the U.S. Treasury once again.
“And that’s the Democrat treasury [that] works for this administration,” Toomey told the host.
“So you’re saying they changed the website, it’s a new policy, it’s a new approach?” Dokoupil asked.
“I’m saying that is a partisan, political point of view that’s designed to provide cover for the Democrat spending,” Toomey responded, dropping the proverbial mic.
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