Just as debt ceiling negotiations begin, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) is running an ad campaign accusing Democrats of being "addicted" to spending taxpayer dollars. One of the Democrats featured in the ad is Representative Darren Soto (D-FL).
The ad prominently described Democrats as "jacking up inflation to historic highs" and then "refusing to solve the spending crisis they created."
Rep. Soto can briefly be seen twice in the ad at the 10-second and 24-second mark, suggesting he favors current spending policies Republicans seek to curb.
Soto is a signatory of a recent letter by House Democrats demanding the debt ceiling be raised "without any extraneous policies attached."
In January, other Florida Democrats, including Representatives Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Jared Moskowitz, Maxwell Frost, and Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick accused Republicans of holding Social Security and Medicare "hostage" to force negotiations on the debt ceiling.
"MAGA extremists who control the House gavel threaten to take our global economy hostage unless we sacrifice Medicare and Social Security. And the knife they hold to the neck of our economy is the debt ceiling fight," Rep. Wasserman Schultz tweeted.
Similarly, Rep. Frost stated, "We can’t be holding our nation and our seniors hostage just to score some political points."
Rep. Cherfilus-McCormick called the debt ceiling "an emergency issue."
Could this simply have been a means of stalling for time in order to create a plan?
Representative Byron Donalds (R-FL) seemed to think so, recently telling Bloomberg that Democrats and President Biden "don't have a plan."
"First of all, Senate Democrats haven’t passed a bill at all. And the White House doesn’t have a plan at all. So, right now where we are is they need to come up with a strategy for what they think is going to be palatable in order to raise the debt ceiling…They need to come up with a plan," said Rep. Donalds.
Soto's congressional seat is seen as vulnerable in the 2024 presidential cycle.