Fox News host Trace Gallagher briefly pressed Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) on Sunday over the GOP senator’s refusal to support raising the debt ceiling, wondering aloud why Barrasso is against it since it covers already authorized government expenses.
Following the Thanksgiving break, the U.S. Senate is poised for an extremely busy and tense next few weeks. Democrats, who hold a very slim majority in the chamber, will be tasked not only with trying to find a way to iron out intra-party squabbles over the Build Back Better social spending plan but they’re also forced to go it alone in terms of boosting the debt limit before the government runs out of money next month.
After Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) reached an agreement in October to allow Democrats to pass a short-term debt-limit extension, he vowed that Republicans would not offer any further assistance in raising the debt ceiling. In fact, the Kentucky senator told President Joe Biden he was even willing to let the United States default on the national debt.
Interviewing Barrasso on Fox News Sunday, Gallagher—filling in for anchor Chris Wallace—brought up the Republicans’ intransigence on lifting the debt ceiling, noting that the GOP’s excuses don’t actually make that much sense.
“You talk about Republicans are against the Build Back Better thing, they’re also against raising the debt limit. Mitch McConnell said it would just enable Democratic spending,” Gallagher said. “But the Wall Street Journal says, and I’m quoting here sir, ‘a vote to raise the debt limit doesn’t authorize new spending, but it essentially allows the treasury to raise money to pay for expenses the government has already authorized.’” The Fox host then noted that Barrasso’s own home state would suffer if the federal government was forced to default because Congress refused to extend the debt ceiling.
“It’s important to point out in your state alone, this is paying for things like almost 30,000 people getting SNAP benefits. Of course, that’s food benefits; 33,000 students eligible for free or reduced school lunches. So a lot of benefits from this to your state, senator,” Gallagher continued. “So why are you against it?”
Rather than directly answer the Fox News Sunday moderator’s question, Barrasso instead stayed on message and blamed everything on Democrats.
“In my state, I was a member of the state senate,” he replied. “Our institution demands we balance our budget every year and live within our means like families need to do and the federal government ought to do the same thing.”
Barrasso added: “This is all about Democrat spending. This is 100 percent on them. If you get rid of the gimmicks of accounting, this bill the Democrats are proposing is $4 trillion in additional spending. There’s not a single Republican who will vote for the bill or to raise the debt ceiling. This is on Democrats.”
Gallagher, meanwhile, moved right along and shifted the conversation to inflation and gas prices.