WASHINGTON – After weeks of negotiation, the House of Representatives has passed a bill to raise the United States’ debt ceiling, avoiding default. Health Care for America Now Executive Director Margarida Jorge released the following statement:
Our nation came dangerously close to defaulting on our debt because Republicans in Congress used the debt default deadline to advance their top priority: more tax breaks and giveaways to the nation’s wealthiest households while insisting on cuts to programs for working families, children and seniors. Thanks to their efforts, many households making over $400,000 will get away with paying less taxes than they owe while people struggling to make ends meet will face more barriers to accessing nutrition assistance, affordable housing and other basic services.
This deal continues Republicans’ decades-long pattern of giveaways to the rich and corporations, which has contributed significantly to the increase in national debt that many Republicans claimed as their chief concern in the current debate. For all their concern about the debt, Republicans refused to even consider raising revenue to address the deficit or to finance investments that help their constituents. The GOP rejected President Biden’s proposals to raise new revenue by closing tax loopholes despite the fact that many millionaires and billionaires currently pay lower tax rates than many middle-class workers and that corporations making record profits are paying less tax than in the past. Instead, the GOP moved to cut programs and raise costs for everyday Americans who are struggling with inflation and historically high prices for housing, food and many other essentials.
It’s clear that the GOP’s “fiscal responsibility” is nothing more than a political charade. Common sense dictates that if Congress can afford to let wealthy tax cheats off the hook for paying what they owe and can afford to protect tax loopholes that reward corporations for avoiding their fair share of taxes, then they can also afford healthcare, education and other basic services for people who need them.
Americans deserve better than a deal that avoids a national disaster by rewarding the rich while inflicting harm on so many others.