Rep. Chip Roy Vows Bold Fight Against Clean Debt Ceiling Rise

Rep. Chip Roy Vows Bold Fight Against Clean Debt Ceiling Rise

One of the more influential House Freedom Caucus members, Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, is vowing to dig in against Democrats’ and President Joe Biden’s push for an unconditional hike on the debt ceiling.

“The fight’s just begun — the speaker’s fight was a preview,” Roy, who was one of the last few holdouts against House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., in January, told The Wall Street Journal.

“If you think it was hot then, the debt-ceiling fight is going to get a lot hotter.”

“I’m not there to get second place,” Roy, 50, the former chief of staff for Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, added. “I’m there to win.”

Roy has been closely involved in the House GOP leaders’ group working on the budget plan that might agree to raise the debt ceiling until May 24 if a few concessions are delivered by the White House.

“If these sons of b***hes want to try to end-run us, game on,” Roy told the Journal.

The plan, led by Rep. Garret Graves, R-La., as directed by McCarthy, will seek to limit budget spending to the 2023 budget level with merely a 1% raise annually for 10 years.

Among the other features, according to reports:

  • Pull back unspent COVID-19 pandemic funds.
  • Stop student debt forgiveness.
  • Repeal some green tax credits.
  • Work requirements for social programs.
  • Pass House GOP energy plan (HR 1).
  • Pass REINS Act, which aims at curbing government regulation.

“Chip has been in probably 90% of the meetings that we’ve had, because of his ability to go down a secondary and tertiary layer on substance,” Graves told the Journal.

Passing a budget in a House held by Republicans’ narrow 222-213 majority needs some GOP unity, particularly as the House GOP is going to have to bend to Biden and Democrats’ desire to raise the debt ceiling and keep the spigots running for their domestic spending initiatives fiscal conservatives abhor.

“You’re going to lose right-flank support if you don’t have upfront, first-year cuts,” Roy told the Journal. “The debt ceiling is not going to be clean, and it’s not going to be one simple thing attached to it.”

Roy, who has supported McCarthy’s holding to his promises made to get the votes to be speaker, is warning against Democrats turning Republicans relenting on cutting domestic spending.

The Problem Solvers Caucus, the bipartisan group that sits opposite the conservative Freedom Caucus, is potentially working to get the votes together, sources told the Journal, for a more “clean” raise of the debt ceiling to keep Democrats’ massive spending agenda flowing.

“All sides need to sit down at the table and get this done,” Problem Solvers Caucus co-chair Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., told the Journal. “If we don’t, and go off the cliff, Americans, our economy and our standing in the world will suffer.”

Roy is a tough conservative voice in the negotiations, according to House Freedom Caucus Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa.

“The normal threats of ‘you’re going to lose your committee assignment,’ ‘we’re not going to run some bill,'” Perry told the Journal, “they are impervious to someone like Chip Roy.”

But, Roy is also tuned in to the sausage making in the Congress, Main Street Caucus Chair Rep. Dusty Johnson, R-S.D.

“Tactically, Chip and I have a lot of disagreements,” Johnson told the Journal. “There are times when he will make a tactical decision that I think is the wrong one.

But, he concluded, “a lot of members can be unrealistic about what’s gettable in a negotiation. Chip doesn’t live in a fantasy land.”

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