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GOP senator underestimates Dems’ opposition to debt ceiling bill

A Senate Republican believes "30 or 40" Senate Democrats might vote for the GOP's right-wing debt ceiling bill. That's hilariously wrong.


Sen. Roger Marshall’s career in the upper chamber has run into occasional setbacks. Last year, for example, while pushing an odd conspiracy theory, the Kansas Republican badgered Dr. Anthony Fauci to put financial disclosure information online that was already online. (Fauci was caught on a hot mic describing the GOP senator as a “moron.”)

Unfortunately, Marshall’s confusion persists. Yesterday, for example, the Kansan appeared on Fox Business to both celebrate the House Republicans’ debt ceiling hostage note and make a curious prediction about its prospects.

I found myself watching the clip a few times, because I couldn’t quite believe what I’d heard. In fact, Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo, whose partisan perspective is no secret, seemed amazed, too. For those who can’t watch clips online, here’s a transcript of the relevant portion:

MARSHALL: This is a good deal. If this would go on the Senate floor, I think it would pass.


MARSHALL: I do. I do think that it would pass — not with 50 Democrats, but I think there’d be 30 or 40 Democrats that would pass it.

If you listen closely towards the end of the video excerpt, Bartiromo responded, “Wow,” which, coincidentally, is what I said, too.

Just so we’re all clear, Marshall was referring to the House GOP’s so-called Limit, Save, Grow Act — a right-wing plan, concocted in secret with no Democratic input, that would push hundreds of thousands out of work and take health care coverage from hundreds of thousands of Americans.

Just as importantly, the legislation — a vehicle for the Republicans’ debt ceiling hostage strategy — would gut all kinds of critically necessary public investments, affecting everything from veterans care to education, border security to food security, law enforcement to medical research, Head Start to rail inspections, agriculture to air traffic control, infrastructure to national parks.

It also takes a crowbar to efforts to combat climate change for reasons that have nothing to do with deficit reduction.

Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz told Politico, “The leadership just picked up the House Freedom Caucus plan and helped us convert it into the legislative text.”

There are 51 members of the Senate Democratic conference. Roger Marshall, without a hint of humor, told a national television audience that he believes “30 or 40” of them would vote for this outlandish monstrosity — even after literally zero House Democrats supported the measure during last week’s floor vote in the lower chamber.

I mention all of this, in part because it’s kind of hilarious, and in part because Republicans might not fully appreciate just how much congressional Democrats — other than West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin — hate this plan with the heat of a thousand suns.

Soon after Marshall’s on-air appearance, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer appeared on the chamber floor and explained that the House GOP’s bill “has no future in the Senate.”

The New York Democrat added that the Republicans’ debt ceiling hostage note “would tear at the fabric of American society” and impose “brutal attacks on working families.” Schumer went on to say the bill is filled with “atrocities.”

If any Republican is under the impression that 30 to 40 Senate Democrats might vote for such a bill, the GOP should start lowering its expectations.