Former President Donald Trump is urging Republican lawmakers to stay away from cuts to major programs for senior citizens as Washington girds for an intense fight over the U.S. debt limit.
“‘Under no circumstances should Republicans vote to cut a single penny from Medicare or Social Security.’”
Trump, who is running again for president and who injected himself into the lengthy election of Rep. Kevin McCarthy as House speaker, made the comments in a video message that was reported by Politico ahead of its release.
As MarketWatch has reported, Democrats and Republicans look set for a possible market
-shaking showdown over lifting the U.S. debt limit, with the real trouble probably coming in the summer. The White House has said it should be raised without conditions, while Republicans have demanded federal spending cuts in exchange for lifting the borrowing limit.
Trump, noted Politico, suggested Republicans should target things like foreign aid and “climate extremism” instead of going after benefits for the elderly. “Save Social Security, don’t destroy it,” he said.
Trump’s appeal was at least the second to congressional Republicans this month. The former president’s urging GOP lawmakers to vote for McCarthy for speaker was initially rebuffed by hardline conservatives, but he may have played a role in convincing holdouts to switch in the end.