Frustrated by the Debt Ceiling Deal? Elect More Progressives

May 31, 2023 | PDA News

We, at PDA, strongly oppose key components of the Debt Ceiling Deal negotiated by President Biden and Speaker McCarthy. Let’s take this moment to recommit ourselves to building a strong progressive movement and electing more progressives who would block this from happening again.


PDA’s position on the negotiated Debt Ceiling deal is simple.

We consider these aspects to be unacceptable and encourage progressives to withhold their support for the package until they are removed:

  • the weakening of the NEPA process, that is the foundation of environmental justice regulation; and the approval of the Mountain Valley Pipeline (both of which are entirely unrelated to the debt ceiling);

  • the expansion of work requirements for SNAP recipients ages 50-54;
  • the allowance of a 3% increase in the military budget; in contrast to all other discretionary spending—the cap on which will almost certainly necessitate further cuts in spending;
  • the reduction of the IRS budget set up to investigate tax evasion by wealthy Americans (which would raise much more money than it cost);
  • the ending of the moratorium on student loan payments.

Of course, we recognize that the United States cannot afford to default on its loans. Therefore, we once again encourage President Biden to be prepared to invoke the 14th Amendment in order for the federal government to continue paying its bills past the June 5th deadline that Treasury Secretary Yellin announced last week for raising the debt ceiling.

However, we at PDA also pride ourselves on being realistic. We know as well as any organization in the country that our priorities differ on these issues from the “moderate” neoliberal wing of the Democratic Party, and that Democrats in Congress are split (roughly equally) between neoliberals and progressives. Thus, unless half of the GOP caucus opposes this deal (for entirely different reasons than progressives, but opposition nonetheless), progressives will be unable to stop it.

So, there are two important courses of action to take at this point:

  1. continue to demand that the harmful components of the bill listed above be removed from the deal;

  2. recognize that the progressive movement is distinct in its policy priorities from the “moderate” neoliberal wing of the Democratic Party, and recommit to building a progressive majority.

Indeed, if we want to see wealth inequality and poverty in America, as well as the climate emergency, addressed responsibly in our time, we need to build our movement now and elect more PDA progressives to every office in Washington DC and across the land.  

Join with us as a supporter or a volunteer—or both (the best choice!).

Thanks so much for anything you can do.

In solidarity,

Alan Minsky for the PDA National Team