'Indefensible' Republicans demand 'capitulation' in debt ceiling crisis: Rachel Maddow producer

'Indefensible' Republicans demand 'capitulation' in debt ceiling crisis: Rachel Maddow producer

During the 2022 midterms, many Democrats warned that if Republicans retook the U.S. House of Representatives, the United States would be at risk of defaulting on its debt obligations in 2023. Republicans retook the House, albeit with a small single-digit majority. And sure enough, the U.S. appears to be in danger of a debt default — which, according to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, could come as soon as June 1.

Yellen is warning that a default would set off a major economic crisis and is hoping that President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-California) will be able to work out some type of agreement, but budget talks have not been going well. McCarthy has agreed to raise the debt ceiling, but only in exchange for draconian budget cuts.

In a May 24 opinion column for MSNBC's MaddowBlog, Rachel Maddow producer Steve Benen compares the debt ceiling fights of 2011 and 2023. And he stresses that Republicans, then and now, are anti-compromise.

READ MORE: Janet Yellen brings dire warning on looming debt default to Wall Street execs

House Republicans, Benen laments, "not only don't want to make any concessions, they seem genuinely confused about what a concession even is."

"Facing the threat of default," the "Rachel Maddow Show" producer explains, "GOP officials envision a 'deal' in which they get regressive and unpopular policies that hurt struggling families. In exchange, Democrats would get literally nothing — except the satisfaction in knowing that Republicans won't crash the economy this year. If this sounds at all familiar, it's not your imagination."

Benen continues, "If you've been reading me for a long time, you might recall my coverage of the 2011 debt ceiling fight, when then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor adopted the identical line, arguing that his party's 'concession' would be 'the fact that we are voting — the fact that we are even discussing voting for a debt ceiling increase.' Not to put too fine a point on this, but this position is indefensible — and it has not improved with age…. (Republicans) don't want compromise; they demand capitulation. Period. Full stop."

READ MORE: Kevin McCarthy demands work requirements for 'all the programs' to avoid looming debt default

Read Steve Benen's full MaddowBlog column at this link.

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