McCarthy’s dine-and-dash on the debt ceiling

by Salvador Rizzo - Friday Sep. 24, 2021

Washington Post - Fact Checker


The latest standoff in Congress concerns the federal government’s debt ceiling, with Republicans opposed to an increase now that President Biden is in office.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says that without congressional action, the government won’t be able to pay its bills sometime in the coming weeks, which would mean defaulting for the first time in history and economic chaos.

Congress in bipartisan votes suspended the debt ceiling in December 2017, March 2019 and August 2019. The national debt rose by roughly $7.8 trillion during the Trump administration and is now at $28 trillion.

Now, with a Democrat back in the White House, the GOP blockade last seen during the Obama administration has returned.


“The past debt ceiling paid for everything in the Trump administration, plus seven months of this Biden administration,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) claimed in an interview on Fox News this week.


He earned Three Pinocchios. Raising the debt limit would cover the cost of programs that were approved in the past, such as the GOP tax cuts from 2017. The government continues to borrow hundreds of billions of dollars a year to finance them, $1.9 trillion over 10 years.

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