Top political reactions to the Biden-McCarthy debt ceiling deal: Ron DeSantis, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, among others

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle commented on the final product of the negotiations between the president and the speaker.

The debt ceiling deal between Joe Biden and Kevin McCarthy has left no one indifferent. Since the news broke, numerous legislators from both parties have reacted to the text, which they will have to vote on soon. Ron DeSantis, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, Chip Roy, Ted Cruz, Hakeem Jeffries and Lindsey Graham were among them.

After a month of back-and-forth negotiations, the president and the spokesman agreed on a text, which includes raising the debt ceiling for two years and reducing government spending. The program is designed to expand the work requirements for receiving food stamps, recover unspent money from Coronavirus funds and curb the expansion of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) personnel.

Main reactions to the debt ceiling agreement

Almost unanimously, Senate Republicans spoke out strongly against what Kevin McCarthy, Patrick McHenry and Garrett Graves negotiated.

One of the first to react was Ted Cruz (R-TX). The Texas senator expressed his opinion through his Twitter account, where he commented sarcastically about the text. “Right now, the Democrats are very upset. The one thing [Hakeem Jeffries] told me, there is nothing in the bill for them – there is not one thing in the bill for Democrats,” he began.

“He’s right. There’s not ‘one thing’ for Dems. There are $4 trillion things—a blank check—for Democrats. Plus 87,000 things: new IRS agents to harass Americans. All in exchange for eliminating virtually ALL of the House’s spending cuts,” the Texan added.

His colleague Rand Paul (R-KY) spoke along the same lines and took aim at Republican negotiators, whom he accused of caving too much to the White House.” Fake conservatives agree to fake spending cuts. Deal will increase mandatory spending ~5%, increase military spending ~3%, and maintain current non-military discretionary spending at post-COVID levels. No real cuts to see here. Conservatives have been sold out once again!” he said.

Congressman Chip Roy, who worked for years with Cruz, called out his colleagues, described the deal as a “turd- sandwich,” and said he would try to stop it from reaching the Senate.

Now a presidential candidate, Ron DeSantis, spoke to Fox News and also disapproved of the speaker’s work. “Prior to this deal … our country was careening towards bankruptcy. And after this deal, our country will still be careening towards bankruptcy,” the Florida governor said.

“To say you can do 4 trillion [dollars] of increases in the next year-and-a-half, I mean, that’s a massive amount of spending. I think that we’ve gotten ourselves on a trajectory here — really since March of 2020, with some of the COVID spending, and totally reset the budget, and they’re sticking with that. And I think that that’s just going to be totally inadequate to get us in a better spot,” he added.

Mike Lee (R-UT) was another Republican to criticize both the deal and those negotiating with President Biden. “With Republicans like these, who needs Democrats?” he said. On the other hand, Lindsey Graham (R-SC) first clarified that he respects McCarthy before remarking on the slight increase in defense spending. He also advanced that he will seek to add some amendments when the text passes through the Upper House.

One Republican who did celebrate the agreement was Mitch McConnell (R-KY). The Senate Minority Leader affirmed that “the United States of America will not default on its debt. Today’s agreement makes urgent progress toward preserving our nation’s full faith and credit and a much-needed step toward getting its financial house in order,” he continued.

Hakeem Jeffries, Democratic minority leader in the House of Representatives, called on his Democratic colleagues to support the bill when it is introduced. “I do expect that there will be Democratic support once we have the ability to actually be fully briefed by the White House,” he said in an interview with Face the Nation.