Messaging Roundup: May 23,2023

Debt Ceiling

Topline Talking Points:

  • President Biden has made clear for weeks that Congress must act to prevent default.
  • Earlier this week, he met with Congressional leaders at the White House, where they agreed to move forward on a bipartisan budget framework. The President then assigned an experienced negotiating team and directed them to act in good faith to reach an agreement.
  • MAGA Republicans are taking the economy hostage and pushing us to the brink of default, which could cost millions of jobs and trigger a recession after two years of steady job and wage growth.

MAGA Republicans are recycling a barely watered down version of their extreme budget proposal that would:

  • Eliminate 100,000 jobs for teachers and support staff
  • Cut thousands law enforcement positions
  • Put health insurance coverage at risk for 21 million Americans
  • Put food assistance at risk for nearly 1 million Americans

MAGA Republicans want to extend tax breaks skewed to the wealthiest Americans and big corporations even though:The debt increased by 40% under President Trump. Those tax breaks cost taxpayers $2 trillion—and would add another $3.5 trillion to the debt over the next decade. MAGA Republicans still want to reward tax cheats by gutting funding for the IRS.

Any serious budget negotiation must include discussion of both spending and revenues, but Republicans have refused to discuss revenue. President Biden lowered the deficit by $1.7 trillion in his first two years in office with this balanced approach. His budget would cut the deficit by an additional nearly $3 trillion—cutting wasteful subsidies for Big Oil and Big Pharma, and asking the wealthiest to pay their fair share. MAGA Republicans are instead focused on pulling the rug out from under hardworking Americans.

There remains a path forward to reach a reasonable bipartisan agreement if Republicans come back to the table to negotiate in good faith. But President Biden will not accept a wish-list of extreme MAGA priorities that would punish the middle class and neediest Americans and set our economic progress back.


  • Congressional Republicans are claiming their debt limit hostage taking is motivated by concerns about fiscal responsibility. But new CBO estimates show that their plan to extend the Trump tax cuts without paying for them – which the Speaker endorsed the very same day he spoke about the debt limit at the New York Stock Exchange – would add $3.5 trillion to debt over the next 10 years.
  • Prior estimates from the Tax Policy Center show that extending the Trump tax cuts would deliver an average tax cut for the top 0.1 percent of households (those making more than about $4.5 million) of $175,000 per year. The cost of these tax cuts would wipe out the savings from House Republican proposed cuts to education, law enforcement, public safety, research, and other critical areas. And the cost of extending these tax cuts is more than 300 times the savings from the House bill’s poverty-increasing work requirements proposals – showing that these proposals have nothing to do with reducing the deficit. Instead, these proposals are about achieving an extreme MAGA Republican goal that the MAGA Republicans failed to achieve when President Trump was in office and Republicans held both chambers in Congress. 

Talking Points on Tim Scott’s Announcement

  • Tim Scott can’t name a single policy difference between himself and Donald Trump, calling his record as president “monumental.”
  • Scott said he will govern from the “far, conservative right” as a proud member of the Tea Party, and his extreme record proves it:
  • Scott supports some of the most extreme anti-choice legislation in Congress, including national abortion bans and legislation that could pave the way for banning forms of birth control. He has said he would sign “the most conservative” nationwide abortion ban possible. He supports Paul Ryan’s plans to end Medicare and Social Security as we know them.
  • Scott has been a champion for special interests and big corporations at the expense of working families: Scott has used his perch on the Senate Banking Committee to champion rolling back regulations on big banks, even opposing stricter regulations a week before two banks crashed. He was a self-described “architect” of Trump’s 2017 tax giveaways that gifted corporations billions. The “Opportunity Zones” Scott wrote into the bill gave tax breaks to wealthy real estate developers while largely leaving the small businesses and low-income communities they were supposed to help out to dry.
  • What Tim Scott Didn’t Mention in His Campaign Kickoff: Tim Scott just launched his 2024 campaign doubling down on the MAGA agenda he’s spent his entire career pushing, but conveniently left out some of the key pillars of his extreme agenda – including his pledge to sign a national abortion ban, commitment to cutting taxes for the ultra-wealthy, and push to end Social Security and Medicare as we know it. Read more from the DNC War Room.
  • 2024 Republicans TRIPLE DOWN on Banning Abortion Nationwide: As more MAGA Republicans launch their 2024 bids, members of the GOP field are shamelessly leaning into their anti-abortion extremism. Just within the past 24 hours, Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis, and Tim Scott have all tripled down on their push to rip away women’s ability to make their own health care decisions across the country. Read more from the DNC War Room.

Congressional Integrity Project Messaging on GOP Bogus Hearings

General Messaging

  • These hearings are nothing more than partisan political stunts that Republicans are engaging in to harm President Biden and Democrats in a pathetic effort to get Donald Trump re-elected. James Comer all but admitted this 
  • MAGA Republicans have no credibility and the wrong priorities. They would rather spend their time undercutting President Biden’s priorities rather than trying to fix the real issues that matter to Americans like health care, rising costs, and gun violence.
  • Comer is all hat no cattle. He repeatedly claims to have bombshell information on the Biden family but has failed to deliver and has admitted they haven’t found anything actually illegal when asked.
  • Their hearings have been a failure and an embarrassment. The American people have rejected these political stunt-filled hearings and even other Republicans have criticized them publicly.

Immigration Messaging

  • House Republicans have no credibility to claim they care about real solutions to fix our immigration system or the border. They’ve refused to act on immigration reform for the past 15 years, and have used migrants as political stunts and campaign tactics including putting on elaborate political stunts like sending migrants to Martha’s Vineyard.
  • House Republicans refused to provide oversight into Trump’s failed border policies, opposing bipartisan efforts to investigate the policy of forced child separation along the southern border, including opposing subpoenas against Trump cabinet officials. Jordan even claimed Trump bore no responsibility for unrest at the border during his presidency.
  • House Republicans used previous hearings on the border to spread racist conspiracy theories like the Great Replacement theory – demonizing immigrants. At least fourteen House Republicans serving on the Judiciary or Oversight committees have openly embraced the far-right theory.

Weaponization Subcommittee Hearing on FBI Whistleblowers

  • Jim Jordan held yet another failed hearing last week with GOP Members and their widely discredited witnesses continuing to push baseless conspiracy theories and lies.
  • Their clown car of witnesses included conspiracy theorists and FBI agents who lost their security clearances because they either took part in the riot on January 6th or expressed views that placed into question their “allegiance to the United States.”
  • Jordan once again failed to prove any weaponization from the government, and his bias was on full display as he broke House rules.
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