Gov. Hochul says GOP should ‘stop playing games’ with debt limit

·2 min read

Gov. Hochul, making her first appearance with President Biden after being selected as one of his reelection campaign surrogates, said Wednesday that the GOP needs to “stop playing games” with the U.S. debt limit.

“The people of this state — Democrats and Republicans — want you to go and do the job you were elected to do, and that’s exactly what President Biden wants to do,” the Democratic governor said, delivering her message to congressional Republicans at a campaign-style event for Biden in Westchester.

The GOP is working to extract concessions from Democrats over the debt ceiling, seeking spending cuts in exchange for votes to lift the limit. Biden, resistant to negotiating over the debt cap, has called on Republicans to help him avoid a catastrophic default that could drive the U.S. economy into a dark recession.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, has said he simply seeks a “responsible, sensible agreement that can raise the debt limit and put us on a path to get our spending under control.”

McCarthy’s party passed a House bill to raise the debt ceiling, but it includes cuts to spending that the Democrats who rule the Senate have no interest in approving.

Both parties claim that the other side is engaging in a risky game. The lifting of the cap was once a procedural custom on Capitol Hill, but has fallen victim to partisan warfare in recent years.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said the U.S. could default on its debt as soon as the start of the next month without congressional action.

“Republicans don’t want us to work together — they don’t want us to do what we’re required to do,” Hochul said in Valhalla, N.Y. “And that’s called paying your bills.”

Hochul headed to New York City’s northern suburbs after speaking at an anti-hate-crime convention at John Jay College in Manhattan. There, the governor said New York faces a “defining moment” to stand up to hate.

Biden’s latest visit to New York underscored Democrats’ focus on winning big in the deep-blue state in 2024. In the midterm elections last year, the GOP flipped four New York congressional districts on its way to a razor-thin, five-seat majority in the House.

After the visit to Valhalla, Biden headed to the five boroughs for a fund-raiser at the home of George Logothetis, a shipping magnate.