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DeSantis attacks McCarthy debt deal, says US is careening toward bankruptcy

 May 30, 2023

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has strongly opposed a recent proposal to raise the U.S. debt limit and reduce spending for the next two years.

DeSantis and several conservative congressional members believe the agreement would propel the nation further toward economic instability, the Daily Mail reported.

The Florida governor, who recently announced his intention to run for president, shared his criticism two days after President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced the agreement. The deal proposes a suspension of the federal debt limit until January 2025.

DeSantis' Stance on the Debt Limit Increase

DeSantis shared his evaluation with Fox News, stating that the nation was already on the brink of financial disaster before the deal. He argued that this agreement would only keep the country on this precarious path.

DeSantis's main contention with the proposed package involves the projected $4 trillion increase in federal debt in the next year and a half.

He said, "To say you can do $4 trillion of increases in the next year and a half, I mean, that's a massive amount of spending," as the New York Post reported.

This view aligns with his conservative allies, including Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and others. They suggest the current $31 trillion national debt would balloon by an additional $4 trillion within the given timeframe due to the proposed suspension. DeSantis also expressed concerns about the spending figures detailed in the two-year deal.

The Concern Over Current Spending Rates

The proposed deal aims to cap spending at 2023 levels, which, given the inflation rate, effectively implies a budget cut. However, it falls short of the targets set by House Republicans. DeSantis noted the current year's budget was bolstered by including COVID-19 relief funding.

The governor suggested the country has been on a dangerous fiscal path since March 2020, a trajectory set by COVID-19-related spending.

He argues that the current budget structure, which has been heavily influenced by this spending, is inadequate to improve the nation's financial health.

DeSantis' Approach to Budgeting

DeSantis pointed to Florida's financial management, noting that state law mandates a balanced budget. "In Florida, we run big budget surpluses. We have a $1.2 trillion economy, but our debt is only 17 billion. It's the second-lowest per capita in the country," he said.

He praised Florida's commitment to making difficult choices and forward-thinking financial strategies.

By contrast, DeSantis suggests Washington tends to focus on short-term cycles to get through to the next election, a practice he believes leads to consistent failures in managing the nation's finances.

DeSantis's criticism comes days after McCarthy publicly disclosed that he had discussed the deal with former President Donald Trump during negotiations.

Trump, who leads DeSantis by as much as 30 points in opinion polls, advised McCarthy to "make sure you get a good agreement as you move forward."

Responses to the Debt Limit Increase

In reaction to the deal, other conservative representatives have also expressed their discontent, including Rep. Dan Bishop, (NC-08), who tweeted his frustration, saying, "RINOs congratulating McCarthy for getting almost zippo in exchange for $4 trillion debt ceiling hike was enough to make you" – followed by a vomiting emoji.

Also sounding off was Rep. Ken Buck (CO-04), who labeled the agreement a "debt ceiling surrender."