Subscribe to the briefThe Texas Tribune, a daily newsletter that keeps readers up to date with the most important Texas news.
WASHINGTON – USA. Chip Roy said he would teeter on the brink of war in the federal debt ceiling debate, threatening to let the US default on its loans to push through his border security plan, which has been criticized by members of his own party for being too extreme.
“We will have to use the debt ceiling and the fight against spending in September to demand that [President Joe] Biden is doing the right thing,” Roy said Wednesday on Fox News.
Republican from Austin introduced a bill passed earlier this year that gives the secretary of homeland security the power to ban border crossings — even for asylum seekers — until the US can detain all migrants crossing the border illegally. The bill also allows state attorneys general to sue the secretary if they determine that the administration is not properly enforcing these policies — which would likely be the case in the administration of President Joe Biden.
The comments come as Congress is debating ways to raise the federal debt limit, a resolution that needs to be passed that has long been used to force priorities and control future spending. If the federal government fails to raise the debt ceiling, as it has done many times under bipartisan control over decades, it could exhaust its ability to pay its debts, leading to a default that economists say will be devastating to the nation and society. . global economy.
Debts are the result of spending already authorized and appropriated by Congress in the past. The federal government already reached its debt limit last week, but the Treasury Department can still find additional spending for the next few months using alternative measures.
Roy is banking on this leverage to advance his non-Democratic border bill. The bill has also faced backlash from moderate Republicans, who fear it effectively closes the door to asylum seekers, a protected class of migrants who are eligible to seek asylum on American soil.
“The asylum process is broken and needs serious reform, but repeal is not the American way,” the US official said. Tony GonzalezR-San Antonio, told the Houston Chronicle. This led to a verbal altercation between the two members who are on opposite sides of the conservative spectrum, although Roy insists they remain on cordial terms.
Roy dismissed the criticism. He said he wanted to protect the asylum seekers, but he thought they should not be allowed into the country to await hearings on their asylum case. Asylum seekers often wait years for their hearings, during which they are left in legal limbo but are free to remain in the country. Under former President Donald Trump, asylum seekers were forced to wait for their applications to be submitted in Mexico, but Biden reversed that policy shortly after taking office.
“We will allow asylum applications, but you must be detained,” Roy told Fox News. “That’s what the law requires.
Roy said on The Joe Pugs Show that he hopes to iron out his differences with Gonzalez and that his bill will essentially achieve the same goal as Section 42, the Trump-era measure continued by the Biden administration that deports migrants — even those who seek asylum under the guise of preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Democrats argue that there is not enough space or funding to accommodate so many migrants seeking asylum in the country and are pushing for additional legal routes to enter the country. But Republicans in the US House of Representatives are demanding that the border be fortified first before any immigration reform can be discussed.
Roy’s bill would also deport any migrants who exceed the country’s capacity for detention. Eleven other Texas Republicans signed the bill.
The battle over the debt ceiling likely won’t come to a head until early summer, when the federal government has exhausted its alternatives to finance itself and finance interest payments. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and President Biden have urged Congress to quickly raise the debt ceiling without strings attached, saying it is too dangerous a bargaining chip to be used to enforce any partisan needs.
Failure to pay national debts would be a devastating blow to international confidence in US assets, leading to high interest rates and inflation. Both sides agree that debt default is not an option. The United States has never defaulted on its debt, although the threat to do so has hovered over every Congress for years.
“The United States of America should never, ever default on its debt,” the US senator said. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said at a press conference Wednesday’s debt ceiling. “[But] we will use the debt ceiling as leverage for real and meaningful structural reforms to address the underlying problem.”
Roy is also using the debt ceiling fight to try to lower federal funding levels in an attempt to rein in the national debt. He called for a balanced budget over the next decade, starting with federal funding returning to FY22 levels next year.
Roy said he could also use the September appropriation process to try to push through his border security bill. Congress must annually pass a bill to allocate funds to the government, or the federal government will shut down completely.
Roy was shocked that Republicans in the US Senate were working with Democrats to pass a bipartisan funding bill late last year, instead of kicking the appropriations process until the Republicans took control of the House. It “deprived us of leverage,” Roy said. He urged fellow House Republicans to join him in opposing any priorities put forth by Senate Republicans who voted in favor of a spending bill last year, with US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy signing the idea.