Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., was seen wearing a domestic national debt bell badge in the halls of Congress Tuesday afternoon amid an ongoing partisan battle to raise the debt ceiling.
Massie was seen by reporters wearing the transition badge as Washington faces a renewed fight over raising the debt ceiling, including proposals to allow the government to borrow without any limit set by Congress.
Politico reported that Massie built the badge himself from a combination of roofing copper and a microprocessor over a period of about three days. He told the outlet that he pulled the data from “about 400 lines of code” on the Treasury Department’s website.
The government lifted the debt ceiling – currently set at $31.38 trillion – last week. House Republicans have called for a cut back on the increase in federal spending, which has grown under both Republican and Democratic administrations.
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However, Democrats have accused Republicans of “weaponizing” the debt ceiling as part of the budget negotiations, endangering the economic health of the US in the process by bringing it close to default. .
“The government has an obligation to pay its bills,” Rep. Bill Foster, D-Ill., said this week. “A threat to default on our debt the same as ordering an expensive meal in a restaurant, eating it and not paying. We can and should have a real conversation about overall spending, but the overall faith and credit of the United States must never be compromised.”
Meanwhile, Republicans asked the White House to help negotiate a measure that would reduce spending and said it was “disappointing” that President Joe Biden had not intervened so far. They also argued that congressional approval of new spending programs is what forced the government repeatedly to reach its borrowing limit, which forced Congress to raise the debt ceiling.
IS DEMOCRATIC BY ELIMINATING ALL DEBT, ALLOWING NON-GOVERNMENT LOANS
“It’s very disappointing,” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy told reporters this week. “This is the leader of the free world pounding on board, being irresponsible, saying, ‘No, no, just raise the limit.'”
Conservatives Sharpen Their Spears for Historic Debt Ceiling Fight
Biden met with Democratic leaders on Tuesday and targeted Republicans during the fight.
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“Look, I have no intention of letting the Republicans destroy our economy,” Biden said.
The federal government spent $4.4 trillion in fiscal year 2019, just before COVID hit. He spent $6.5 trillion in fiscal year 2020, $6.8 trillion in fiscal year 2021 and $6.3 trillion in fiscal year 2022.
Peter Kasperowicz of Fox News and the Associated Press contributed to this report.