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Claytoonz: Biden's debt ceiling negotiations

Claytoonz: Biden's debt ceiling negotiations

President Joe Biden vowed he wouldn’t negotiate with Republicans on raising the debt ceiling, demanding a clean bill without cuts to spending. He said the time to negotiate budgets was when it’s time to pass budgets, not when it’s time to pay the government’s bills.

Kevin McCarthy and House Republicans have been demanding spending cuts before they agree to pay the nation’s bills, mostly to programs they don’t like. One of their largest demands is to cut funding for the IRS that was passed last year to add personnel to go after billionaire tax cheats.

The Republicans have been holding the nation hostage over their demands. They never did this during the past four Republican presidencies. They only make these demands when a Democrat holds the White House.

Right after he finally won the House speakership on the 15th vote, McCarthy tweeted, “House Republicans are on a mission to end wasteful Washington spending.” Fun fact: Roughly 25 percent of our total national debt incurred over the last 230 years actually occurred during the four years of the Trump administration.

That fact was brought to light by former Republican House member David Jolly. And, it’s true. Do you know who was in Congress all four years of the Trump administration? Kevin McCarthy. The debt ceiling needed to be raised three times during those four years. Did Kevin McCarthy make any demands for spending cuts to accompany raising the debt ceiling? Did he refuse to vote to raise it? Nope. Kevin voted to raise it three times without condition. It’s like he didn’t realize there was a national debt until Joe Biden became president.

This is not a bold prediction, but if Trump or DeSantis takes the White House in 2024, spending will go unabated. Republicans will not present any conditions for raising the debt ceiling.

Donald Trump has actually been talking to McCarthy during these negotiations. After playing a tee shot on his golf course outside Washington, Mr. Trump approached a reporter for The New York Times, iPhone in hand, and showed a call with McCarthy, and he said, “They’ve spent three years wasting money on nonsense. Republicans don’t want to see that, so I understand where they’re at.”

The guy who is responsible for 25 percent of federal debt incurred over the past 230 years said, “They spent three years wasting money on nonsense.” But the good news is Tiffany won’t have to pay an estate tax.

Now, it appears Biden and McCarthy have a deal to raise the debt ceiling. The deal would raise the debt limit for two years while imposing strict caps on discretionary spending not related to the military or veterans for the same period. This will allow Republican fuckwads to say, “Yo-ho! We cut spending” while the debt continues to increase, and Democrats can claim they saved most domestic programs from large cuts.

What you need to know is that this deal will cut $10 billion from the $80 billion of new funding for the IRS, because Republicans want to make it easier for Billionaires and corporations to be tax cheats. They are also still haggling over work requirements for social safety net programs and a permitting overhaul for domestic energy and gas projects.

As it turns out, President Joe Biden will negotiate with terrorists.

Clay Jones is the 2022 recipient of the RFK Human Rights Journalism Award in Editorial Cartooning, and won a 2021 Sigma Delta Chi Award for Excellence in Journalism from the Society of Professional Journalists. He was a finalist for the Herblock Prize in 2019 and a finalist for the National Headliner Award in 2020. See more award-winning editorial cartoons from him at

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