Steve Bannon, the former Donald Trump adviser and prominent far-right media figure, has called for supporters to end their financial support of the Republican Party in the wake of the recent debt ceiling compromise.
After weeks of back-and-forth debate, President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy last week reached a deal to raise the U.S. debt ceiling just in time to avoid a historic default. While the deal successfully passed in both the House and Senate, and was praised by many on the left for winning key compromises, it has nevertheless been met with negativity from both parties. Several Democrats have raised alarm over a provision in the bill that allowed a new oil pipeline to be fast-tracked, while many Republicans scoffed at how few of their demands were ultimately included.
Among the conservative voices decrying the bill is Bannon, the former Breitbart News executive and political strategist for Trump’s first presidential campaign. During a recent segment of his War Room podcast, Bannon called for viewers to “close their checkbooks” and stop financially supporting McCarthy and the Republican National Committee (RNC) over their handling of the debt limit debate.
“Well I tell you what, everybody out there close your checkbooks,” he said. “Don’t give any money to McCarthy. Don’t give any money to the RNC. Because until they come forward and say, ‘hey, what do you mean?’ Why am I giving money if you’re going to be weaker?”
In addition to raising the debt ceiling of $31.5 trillion for another two years, the deal reportedly includes a cap on federal spending in 2024 and 2025, cuts in funding for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the addition of certain work requirements for food aid programs, though to a notable lesser degree than many Republicans had called for. The deal will keep the debt ceiling raised through January 2025, which many on the left have hailed as a win for Biden, as it will prevent another debt ceiling showdown next year as the 2024 presidential race heats up.
In a statement to Newsweek, Bannon previously called the deal “dead on arrival” and a “total surrender” for McCarthy, adding that he ought to face a challenge to his speakership over it and that Republicans who support it should face primary challenges.
“This bill almost guarantees you $4 trillion with no cuts. It’s dead on arrival. Any Republican that votes for this—they should primary them because this is nothing but a set of small optics compared to the real problem,” Bannon said. “The problem is that this exacerbates the debt problem because it takes off any limits to what can be added to the debt ceiling. There’s no number, and we know it’s for two years.”
Newsweek reached out to McCarthy’s press team via email for comment.
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