Bowman on debt ceiling talks with GOP: ‘Why are we gonna negotiate with the economic terrorists’

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Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) said he is “very frustrated” over the state of debt ceiling talks and questioned why President Biden is continuing to negotiate with what the congressman called “economic terrorists” in the Republican party.

“I called on the president to invoke the 14th Amendment and mint a coin and do not negotiate with hostage takers,” Bowman told CNN’s Manu Raju on Thursday. “I mean, we don’t negotiate with terrorists globally. Why are we gonna negotiate with the economic terrorists here that are the Republican Party?”

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) said earlier this week that some Republicans do not feel they should negotiate with their “hostage” in debt ceiling talks, drawing the ire of the White House and others in the Democratic party.

Biden and House Republicans remain locked in a standoff over the debt ceiling with less than one week until June 1, when Treasury Department Secretary Janet Yellen says the United States could default on its debt.

A group of Democratic senators have called on Biden to invoke the 14th Amendment, which says the country’s debt shall not be questioned, in order to raise the debt limit without needing approval of Congress. Biden has said he is considering the maneuver, though it would likely begin a long legal fight, which could lead to a default anyway. Bowman’s suggestion that Biden “mint a coin” refers to the untested idea that the federal government could mint a $1 trillion platinum coin to pay government expenses.

But those extraordinary measures would be unnecessary if Biden and House leaders strike a deal, and they appear to be making progress this week.

Multiple lawmakers told The Hill on Thursday that they had seen proposals from the negotiations to raise the debt ceiling up to $4 trillion, which would extend beyond the 2024 election. Reports in The New York Times and The Washington Post on Thursday evening said the White House and House Republicans were growing closer to a potential deal.

But sticking points remain. A top GOP negotiator blasted the White House on Thursday, saying the Biden administration is “refusing to negotiate on work requirements.” Democrats have been staunchly opposed to enacting the stronger work requirements proposed by Republicans, which would include raising the requirements to 20 hours per week for recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for those 50 to 56 years old.

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