Fox News anchor Chris Wallace cornered Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) over renewed complaints from Republicans about the rising national debt in the wake of the Biden administration’s proposed spending bills, asking Blunt if the GOP has lost any “credibility on these issues.”
With the White House pushing forward a $2.3 trillion infrastructure spending proposal that President Joe Biden has said will largely be paid for with corporate tax hikes, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) grumbled about the price tag while calling it a “Trojan horse.”
McConnell also said “it’s not likely” that he’ll support the bill, adding that it’s “going to have massive tax increases and trillions more added to the national debt.”
Noting that some of Blunt’s Republican colleagues are complaining that the bill will “explode” the national debt and deficits, Wallace aired some graphics that showed how fast the debt rose during the Trump administration.
“During the Trump presidency, even before the pandemic, the national debt increased by more than $3 trillion and in 2017, every Republican in the Senate, including you, voted for the big Trump tax cuts which cut revenue by almost one and a half trillion dollars,” Wallace said on Fox News Sunday.
“So I guess the question is, when I hear for instance Mitch McConnell talking about debt and deficits, hasn’t the Republican Party—haven’t you lost your credibility on those issues?” the Fox News anchor added.
“Well, I don’t think anybody has a very good record for the last decade on this,” Blunt conceded. “I think the deficit under the Obama years and the Trump years are very similar.”
The Missouri lawmaker went on to decry the lack of bipartisanship during the most recent coronavirus relief package and the proposed infrastructure bill, noting that previous COVID-19 stimulus bills received support from both parties. At the same time, he praised the 2017 tax cuts, claiming they produced “real revenue” by helping spur economic growth.
“Now we’ve seen one incredibly partisan bill from the new administration followed by what appears to be will be another incredibly partisan bill,” he continued. “You can’t spread that blame around if you decide you’re going to do it all by yourself.”
Wallace laughed in response: “Yes, I suppose that’s true.”
The Fox News Sunday moderator then wanted to “make it clear” that when he talked about the exploding debt and deficits during the Trump years, he was purposely showing the numbers before the pandemic started.