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Yakym: GOP debt ceiling bill minimizes uncertainty

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A Republican member of Indiana’s congressional delegation on Friday said the GOP’s debt ceiling package is meant to jump-start negotiations early.

The House voted Wednesday to pass a bill raising the nation’s debt ceiling. In January, the U.S. hit the debt ceiling set by Congress, forcing the Treasury Department to start taking extraordinary measures to keep the government open and escalating pressure on Capitol Hill to avoid a catastrophic default.

Rep. Rudy Yakym serves on the House Budget Committee. In an interview with News 8 for Sunday’s “All INdiana Politics,” he said he disagrees with President Joe Biden’s assertion the bill would, among other things, reduce benefits for 182,000 Indiana students with disabilities. Yakym said by reducing government spending to 2022 levels, the debt ceiling deal still keeps discretionary spending above what it was pre-pandemic.

“That is not a catastrophic event,” he said. “I think that our country can survive just fine on levels of spending that are substantially higher than we were pre-pandemic.”

Yakym said House Republicans were taking a responsible approach by passing a debt ceiling deal 75 to 90 days before a potential default rather than waiting until the last minute. He said he still hopes President Joe Biden comes to the negotiating table.

“One path is the House leaders, the Senate leaders and the president sit down, come together, negotiate a deal that everyone can live with. That’s a path that I’d like to see,” he said. “The other path is that the Senate take this bill, they can either pass as is, or they can have their own debate about the merits of each individual component of the bill.”

For his part, U.S. Rep. André Carson said the GOP debt ceiling bill would lead to a default and jeopardize crucial safety net programs.

“These cruel cuts will impact veteran’s healthcare, food assistance for seniors, and will lay off thousands of first responders – all while raising everyday prices for hardworking American families,” the Democrat from Indiana said in a statement.

“All INdiana Politics” airs at 9:30 a.m. Sunday on WISH-TV.