‘Give Me a Goddamn Break’: Democrat Jim McGovern Blasts Republican Demands in Debt Talks


Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) railed against House Republicans amid talks between President Joe Biden and GOP leaders in the lower chamber to agree to raise the debt ceiling before the U.S. defaults on its debts on or around June 1.

Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and his caucus are seeking spending cuts and more stringent work requirements to receive welfare benefits as a condition for voting to raise the debt limit, which restricts how much the federal government may hold in debt.

Some have called on Biden to order the Treasury Department to simply keep issuing bonds under the 14th Amendment, which states the public debt “shall not be questioned.”

McGovern spoke with MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell on Thursday’s edition of The Last Word.

“There are no details here on nutrition funding that I know is a major concern of yours,” O’Donnell said. “And that scenario where Republicans have been talking about work requirements, there are some work requirements that already exist. What are you hoping the president can achieve on that?”

“I’m hoping the president can hold harmless our nutrition programs and programs that help the most vulnerable in our country,” McGovern replied. “What the Republicans keep on talking about is work requirements, work requirements. We have work requirements in place for programs like SNAP, and the majority of people on the program actually work. And by the way, the benefit is on average [is] about $6 per day, per person. That is it – $2 on average per meal for every person. That’s the benefit.”

The congressman proceeded to express disgust at Republican demands and making a demand of his own: “a goddamn break”:

And the people who are not working right now, who need the benefit, are people who are homeless, some of them are veterans, some of them are people with undiagnosed mental illnesses, kids graduating out of foster care. They really wanna go after those people and throw them off of a food benefit?

I mean, give me a goddamn break. I can’t quite understand what they’re thinking when they believe it is appropriate to try to balance the budget on the backs of those people, the vulnerable in our country. But we can’t touch tax cuts for billionaires, we can touch military spending.

The congressman went on to cite a 60 Minutes report showing that the Defense Department has experienced “astounding” cost overruns.

“You mean to tell me you can’t find one penny of savings in the Pentagon budget – that that’s somehow sacrosanct, off-limits?” McGovern asked.

Watch above via MSNBC.

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Mike is a Mediaite senior editor who covers the news in primetime.