EXCLUSIVE — A Charles Koch-funded group is doling out six figures on a digital ad campaign aimed at ramping up pressure on President Joe Biden and battleground state Senate Democrats to negotiate with Republicans on the debt ceiling.
“Our country is on the verge of an economic crisis,” one of Americans for Prosperity‘s 30-second spots says. “Reckless spending got us here. More will make it worse. President Biden, America can’t afford to do nothing.”
SENATE LEADERS PLAY DEBT CEILING BLAME GAME WHILE AIDES NEGOTIATE BEHIND THE SCENES
The ads will be tailored to Senate Democrats and independents from Arizona, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Another will air in Washington, D.C.
The spots support a letter the libertarian-conservative political advocacy group and its coalition partners, the National Taxpayers Union and America First Policy Institute, sent to Biden this week encouraging him to abandon his “absolutist position” and make spending concessions in exchange for an increase in the debt ceiling.
“We are urging President Biden to stop the reckless spending that got us here and address our nation’s excessive debt burden,” AFP fiscal policy senior fellow Kurt Couchman told the Washington Examiner. “Washington’s addiction to excessive spending and debt has led to the highest inflation in four decades and brought us to the brink of yet another debt ceiling crisis.”
“We’re calling on President Biden to come to the table and work in good faith with members of both parties to raise the debt ceiling responsibly by enacting immediate savings and better budgeting practices,” Couchman added.
Biden is meeting with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), as well as House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), on Friday. The big four’s first sit-down this week, after the country reached its $31.4 trillion debt ceiling in January, failed to break the standoff between Biden and McCarthy after Republicans coalesced behind and passed the Limit, Save, Grow Act.
In New York on Wednesday, Biden amended comments he made after the first White House meeting that he was open to a short-term extension of the country’s borrowing cap before the Treasury Department can no longer pay outstanding bills with cash on hand or accounting gimmicks this summer.
“We still have time to do a whole deal,” he said. “They keep saying they only want — they’re going to go back to the 2022 budget. Well, in the 2022 budget, what is it that they are going to cut? What are they going to keep? Just tell us. Are they going to make sure they continue to fund the Defense Department? Are they not going to cut veterans?”
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McCarthy is seeking to strike an in-principle agreement by the start of next week before Biden departs for Australia, Japan, and Papua New Guinea, where he will take part in a series of multilateral summits.
“I’ve done everything in my power to make sure [the country] will not default,” McCarthy said after the first meeting. “We have passed a bill to raise the debt limit. Now, I haven’t seen that in the Senate, so I don’t know.”