On Sunday morning, U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., told MSNBC the continuing debt ceiling negotiations worry Democratic lawmakers in the House due to reports of across the board spending cuts without any tax increases.

“It’s going to be very difficult for Democrats to swallow,” said Yarmuth.

What’s more troubling to the Kentucky congressman is that “very few people know what’s going on” behind the scenes as speculation grows. With the time running out to the August 2 deadline, Yarmuth also joined other liberal members of Congress who have recently called on President Obama to invoke a clause in the 14th Amendment and raise the debt ceiling himself.

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Using the Civil War-era provision has been publicly rejected by the White House, however. And it has been described as “murky” by constitutional experts and legal scholars.

Still, Yarmuth’s concerns about the details of the negotiations are widespread among the progressive base of the Democratic Party for elected officials and activist groups.

From The New York Times:

Several Democrats said they worry in particular about automatic cuts to Medicare that could be triggered if a congressional committee deadlocks later this year and cannot agree to a deficit-reduction package of nearly $2 trillion.


Stephanie Taylor, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, said in a statement that “seeing a Democratic president take taxing the rich off the table and instead set the stage for cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits is like entering a bizarre parallel universe — one with horrific consequences for middle-class families.”