Fresh off taking control of the House, congressional Republicans are refusing to raise the debt ceiling — a failure that would put the government in default and crash our economy —  unless they get deep cuts to social programs.

That’s fiscal terrorism. And President Biden must reject it.

The debt ceiling does not reduce government expenses — it only makes it harder for the government to pay its bills, which is a legal obligation. Publicly, Biden and congressional Democrats are saying they won’t negotiate over it. Yet Biden met recently with House Speaker Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) about it and has said talks will continue.

McCarthy made a deal for votes with the most extreme members of his conference to hold the debt ceiling hostage to cuts. He could lose his Speakership if he doesn’t get some blood from slashing programs for average U.S. families.

Biden shouldn’t help him.

If he does, Biden will be repeating one of the greatest sins of his vice presidency during the Obama administration: making a deal with the devil that will cause unnecessary pain to U.S. families.

Karen Dolan directs the Criminalization of Race and Poverty Project at the Institute for Policy Studies. Distributed by

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