Stein explained that the first is about a 20% cut to the domestic discretionary budget, a “forward-looking domestic spending freeze.” Republicans are also demanding they “rescind Biden IRS boost, claw back covid aid, secure new border wall funding, and add Medicaid work requirements.”
Rampell explained that the first two parts are this mistaken belief often pitched by Republicans but “wouldn’t affect deficits much” as they are a “small part of the budget.” About 63 percent of the budget is mandatory spending. A problem, however, is that even the GOP doesn’t have the votes for it, she explained, because it would be unpopular.
The Republicans have claimed that funding the IRS is a major problem because middle-class Americans will be audited more. The IRS said that the funds would not be spent on that. They’ve had problems being able to audit millionaires and billionaires because it often means long court cases, which necessitates court fees and lawyers, ProPublica reported in 2019. Being able to ensure everyone pays their taxes means more revenue comes in to ensure the bills get paid. Killing the IRS, Rampell explained, “would increase [the] deficit.”
The idea of bringing back COVID aid is also illogical, she explained, because it’s such a tiny amount that hasn’t been spent that it isn’t going to make much of a difference.
Increasing the budget to build another border wall would also only add to the deficit, she explained. Donald Trump said that he finished building his border wall and was able to secure the border. He called it a “Rolls-Royce” that “can’t be climbed.” Many have, however, the Washington Post reported last year.
Republicans now say that the border is no longer secure. High winds knocked over one section of Trump’s wall in California in Jan. 2020. Another piece in Arizona was torn apart by monsoon rains in 2021.
The final GOP demand is to have work requirements for Medicaid was struck down by the courts. It’s become a major issue that was supposed to be heard before the Supreme Court, but they removed it from their docket in 2021.
“If the Supreme Court is not going to vacate the D.C. Circuit ruling, that means the decision on the books is one that clearly explains why work requirements are not permitted under the Medicaid statute,” said Washington University associate professor Rachel Sachs.
President Joe Biden has demanded that the debt ceiling be a “clean bill,” recalling the shutdown under former President Barack Obama’s administration, which was the longest until the shutdown under Donald Trump in 2018-2019.