These House Republicans are willing to risk global economic calamity to cut spending
Matt Gaetz points out at Kevin McCarthy (C-Span screenshot)

At least some House Republicans have said they're willing to risk global economic calamity to get spending cuts they want – though exactly how many are willing to do it is not yet clear.

Some GOP lawmakers have threatened to push the U.S. Treasury into default by voting against raising the debt ceiling, which could shake domestic and global markets and freeze Social Security payments and Medicare benefits, with a couple of them going on record with The Daily Beast.

"Of course," said first-term Rep. Andy Ogles (R-TN). “Look, we have record inflation, we’re in a recession, we have continued supply chain issues. We’ve got to get our fiscal house in order ... so yes, I would vote against it.”

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) responded when asked if he would do the same with a flat, "Yes," while Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) frequently tweets that Congress "cannot raise the debt ceiling."

House speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), on the other hand, is seeking direct negotiations on a spending deal with Democrats and is set to meet Wednesday with President Joe Biden. An unknown number of GOP lawmakers who are unwilling to raise the debt limit are lurking in the shadows.

“There’s always a danger of what I call the barn-burners,” said Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT). “If the door on the barn is broke, you don’t burn down the barn. You fix the door… the winter’s awfully cold.”

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), who has earned the nickname "Dr. No" for voting against almost everything, said he's willing to consider a raise under certain conditions, while Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-TX), chairman of the House Budget Committee, said the U.S. would not default on its debt due to constitutional obligations.

“Many believe, even constitutionally, that we have to pay the principal and interest on our debt,” Arrington said. “We have to pay our creditors -- like, you can’t not do that.”

Most Republicans are not even considering a vote risking default, whether or not that's constitutionally possible.

“A default’s bad, period," said Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE). “We have a few people who have a history of not wanting to ever vote for a budget or [appropriations], but we’re in the governing majority — so I think we have some of our senior guys who are trying to say, ‘Hey, this is what it means to be part of a majority, you negotiate, you make a deal, you vote on it.’”