WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Democratic Whip Katherine Clark (MA-5) joined Geoff Bennett on PBS NewsHour to denounce the MAGA Republican debt ceiling proposal that cuts critical programs for working Americans. Whip Clark also discussed Democrats’ fight to protect reproductive freedom ahead of the Supreme Court’s decision in the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA case this Friday. Below is a transcript of her interview:
On debt ceiling negotiations and Republicans’ extreme proposal:
“So what we have here is a manufactured default crisis led by extremists in the GOP. Full stop.
“What we need to do is make sure that we vote on a clean debt ceiling, that we avoid default, live up to our responsibilities, be the adults that the American people sent us to Congress to be. And that is exactly what Democrats are doing and are going to continue to press. And what we're seeing is shameful, reckless and dangerous hypocrisy from the GOP.
“What we're seeing is shameful, reckless and dangerous hypocrisy from the GOP. Three times under Donald Trump, they raised the debt ceiling while they were cutting their revenues dramatically in order to protect the very wealthy and the largest corporations. They ran up huge deficits under Donald Trump, but three times raised the debt ceiling.
“Donald Trump himself said this should never be used to negotiate.
“So we know they are not coming to this issue in good faith. They told us over the midterms this was about cutting Social Security and Medicare and using this manufactured crisis to do it.
“They've since been called out on that. And now, they are trying to turn to our veterans, our children, the hungry, foster kids, our planet to make sure that they are taking this funding and giving it back to the wealthy.
“We see it in their undoing of the IRS funding we need so that people can get refunds – so that we can crack down on tax cheats. You can see it. And they want to undo the IRA – and end the climate crisis that we were able to help avoid and build resiliency through that bill.”
On the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA case:
“I am going to tell you that the Democrats are never going to give up on fighting for freedom for the American people.
“That's what this issue is about. And it is this decision that is pending before the Supreme Court that is going to make a decision: will women be second-class citizens? Will our power and privilege and liberty and equality be centered on just the very few who already have great wealth and privilege in this country? Or are we going to continue on the path of equality?
“That's how fundamental this question is to the future of our country. And as Democrats, we are committed to ensuring that reproductive justice is for all. It is part of health care. It is part of our economy. And we are going to do everything in our power to push back against this Republican extreme plan to have a federal ban on abortion.”
On MAGA Republicans' continued attack on women and reproductive freedom:
“What I see is a GOP that's been taken over by extremists. That is the issue here. The issue is not about, you know, whether this is really a debatable topic, whether this is something that Democrats should be doing more or less on.
“This is fundamental freedom. And the Biden Administration, House and Senate Democrats understand that, and the American people understand it.
“It's why we just saw the results in Wisconsin that we saw. It's why, over the summer, when abortion was on the ballot in places like Kansas and Montana and Kentucky, people came out and voted. They understand this is about fundamental freedom.
“And that's why Democrats are going to continue to use every tool we have and to take this to the ballot box, where we will be successful because the American people understand that, when there is state control over your body, there is no freedom.”
On the Biden-Harris Administration’s action to safeguard abortion access:
“This administration has extended protections for medication. They have made sure that our veterans can access reproductive justice. They are working hand in glove with us to make sure that this fundamental right continues. None of us are going to let women become second-class citizens in this country.
“But I can tell you, when I travel to states like Texas, I hear devastating stories of the real impact of these bans on women's lives.
“Women who have lost all of their limbs due to sepsis because they couldn't get treatment for a miscarriage. A ten-year-old who couldn't get the care she needed and had to travel across state lines. Rape and incest victims who are being told that politicians will decide that they will now become parents. So this isn't an issue about something around the edges. This is fundamental freedom.
“And Democrats are in this fight with the American people.”
To watch the complete interview, click HERE.