Republican Sen. John Barrasso made it very clear he’d rather penalize American families and tear down the economy than give President Joe Biden any kind of win, even as he pretended to be operating out of principles.
In his seven-minute appearance on Fox News Sunday yesterday, Barrasso was so busy spouting partisan talking points, he said almost nothing of substance designed to improve the lives of his constituents.
Barrasso pretends his opposition to raising the debt limit is about wanting to “grow the economy”
Although it wasn’t as blatantly partisan as some of his other statements, Barrasso’s defense for pushing the U.S. into default on its debts was far more sickening.
Anchor Chris Wallace noted that Barrasso and the rest of the Republican senators “are refusing the normal course, bipartisan passage of raising the debt limit.” Instead of emphasizing how not raising the debt limit would be catastrophic to the economy, Wallace continued with the “question” that gave the appearance of toughness but which was really a set up to let Barrasso defend the GOP ploy: “So, I guess the question to you and a lot of Republicans is, are you viewing these issues on the merits or are you just playing partisan politics?”
As if Barrasso would ever say, “Oh, we’re just playing partisan politics.”
Even so, Barrasso could not come up with a decent answer. First, he rambled about how “the American people want the sort of things that are in that bipartisan [infrastructure] bill" which he voted against. Then he started complaining that "the $3.5 trillion infrastructure proposal that the Democrats are focusing on right now” contains “trillions of dollars of increased taxes and trillions of dollars of increased debt” and “every Republican is united against it.”
But the infrastructure bill has nothing to do with raising the debt ceiling. And, I repeat, not raising the debt ceiling would be catastrophic to the U.S. economy. From The Washington Post:
Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, found that a prolonged impasse over the debt ceiling would cost the U.S. economy up to 6 million jobs, wipe out as much as $15 trillion in household wealth, and send the unemployment rate surging to roughly 9 percent from around 5 percent.
Yet Barrasso had the nerve to say, in defense of GOP willingness to trash the economy for the sake of sticking it to the Dems, “We’re a party that wants to grow the economy.”
Wallace did not challenge that outlandishness.
Barrasso could not explain why he was for the child tax credit under Trump but not under Biden
After giving Barrasso a pass on the debt ceiling, Wallace pressed him on his child tax credit hypocrisy. Barrasso could not explain his opposition to that provision. Instead, he changed the subject.
WALLACE: As part of the Trump tax cuts in 2017, you voted to increase the child tax credit from $1,000 to $2,000. Now, as part of this bill, the Democrats would extend that to 2025 at a higher level. The fact is that your state of Wyoming is one of the states that benefits most from the increase in the child tax credit. Why oppose that?
BARRASSO: Well, what you’re talking about, though, a $3.5 trillion mass bill, lots of things –
WALLACE: Well, but not – but, forgive – forgive me, sir.
WALLACE: I’m – I’m – but I’m asking you about this specific part of the bill. I – I understand there are parts that you don’t like But, for instance – I mean the – I guess part of the question is, could you have worked with them on this child tax credit, which you voted for in 2017? That’s one of the things that you’re voting against now. Why – why oppose that specific program?
BARRASSO: Well, you – it’s part of the bigger bill. You know, the issue's for any member of the Senate or Congress, you have to look at the entire bill and say, are you for the bill or you’re not. And I would point out, Chris, the Democrats are not coming to talk with Republicans on any of these things. … And the content of this bill matters almost as much, if not more than the cost. I’ve gotten more letters in the last two weeks on one component of this, which is the issue of giving a whole new army of IRS agents to rifle through you checking account, to look at any check that you either deposit or write for over $600. This is an invasion of privacy. Every senator is hearing about this. That’s included as well.
Barrasso is willing to block all children from benefitting from universal Pre-K because some might get a benefit they don’t deserve
After refusing to consider extending the child tax credit, Barrasso also refused to consider Democrats’ proposal for universal Pre-K, even though Wallace pointed out that a lot of Wyoming families would benefit from it.
WALLACE: In the state of Wyoming, less than one quarter of children, three to four, which is who would be covered in the bill, are enrolled in publicly-funded preschool. Less than one quarter. Wouldn’t a lot of Wyoming families benefit from universal Pre-K?
BARRASSO: There are a number of things that will help the people of Wyoming. Overall, Joe Biden’s policies have been hurting the people of Wyoming. And I believe that there should be [means] testing. You just don’t give things universally to everybody. I think there should be work requirements involved. The Democrats are trying to separate work requirements from just free government check and programs.
Then Barrasso had the nerve to pretend he wants to work with Democrats.
BARRASSO: You heard the congressman from the Progressive Caucus say everybody ought to get free community college, everybody ought to get free daycare, Pre-K, all of those things, and that’s not the way that our country has been founded and how we work together.
Barrasso all but admitted he’s about 'sinking' President Biden
At the end of the interview, Wallace handed Barrasso the opportunity to go on a tear against Democrats. Barrasso seemed like he had been chomping at the bit for it.
WALLACE: I’ve got less than a minute left. Are you and your Republican colleagues thoroughly enjoying this divide inside the Democratic Party?
BARRASSO: Well, I’ll tell you, you know, the thing is, Joe Biden ran as a centris and as competent. And what we’re seeing is that he is neither. And people across the country are feeling less safe with Joe Biden as president. Their paychecks are less safe because of the inflation. When you look at hundreds of thousands of people illegally coming to the country every month, they feel less safe.
BARRASSO: When the generals testify, as they did, that we are less safe to terrorism, Joe Biden has now walked the plank for the socialist Bernie Sanders’ budget. He’s man overboard and he cannot swim. He is sinking and he’s sunk.
FACT CHECK: As FiveThirtyEight’s chart shows, Biden is six points more popular than Donald Trump was at this point in his term. In fact, Trump was almost never as popular as Biden is now.
You can watch Barrasso prove he’d rather screw over Americans for the sake of screwing over Democrats below, from the October 3, 2021 Fox News Sunday.
I note that Barrasso continues to say things that support the false narrative about “fraud” somehow happening during the 2020 Election that Pence’s childish spokesman lost. And he has continued to say that he wants to make President Biden a “half-term president” by getting the GOP majorities in Congress and then completely blocking anything from getting done as of 2023. He has made it clear that he does not care about actually doing the work of his office. He just wants to make it impossible for anyone else to get anything done.
I must also note that if the GOP manages to regain their majorities, and if another angry Right Winger manages to get into the White House with those majorities, we would see an even larger disaster than what was inflicted under Pence and the 2017 majorities.