Biden, McCarthy to Discuss Debt Limit


President Joe Biden | Image by BiksuTong/Shutterstock

President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy will meet on Wednesday at the White House to address the standoff over the federal debt ceiling and potential spending cuts.

McCarthy (R-CA) and House Republicans have suggested federal spending cuts as a necessary condition for any deal to raise the debt ceiling. The House Speaker told CBS’ Face the Nation that Wednesday’s meeting with the president will center around a “reasonable and responsible” way to increase the ceiling while reducing spending.

In contrast, the White House and congressional Democrats have been pushing for a ceiling increase without any concessions attached.

The U.S. Treasury this month activated “extraordinary measures” to continue funding the government after reaching the $31.4 trillion debt limit imposed by Congress, as reported by The Dallas Express.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the measures would only allow the government to keep meeting its financial obligations without increasing the ceiling until June, the closest the U.S. has been to a default since a 2011 standoff over the debt limit.

“There will not be a default,” McCarthy said on Face the Nation. “But what is really irresponsible is what the Democrats are doing right now, saying you should just raise the limit.”

McCarthy said he wants to audit every government agency and “every single dollar we’re spending” but affirmed he will not consider cuts to Medicare or Social Security.

“If you read our commitment to America, all we talk about is strengthening Medicare and Social Security,” McCarthy said. “I know the president says he doesn’t want to look at it, but we’ve got to make sure we strengthen those.”

The House Speaker said discretionary spending, which has increased significantly in the past two years, would be on the chopping block.

“I think everything, when you look at discretionary, is sitting there,” McCarthy said. “We shouldn’t just print more money; we should balance our budget. So, I want to look at every single department. Where can we become more efficient, more effective, and more accountable?”

McCarthy was asked if he would support a short-term extension of the debt ceiling until September, as some lawmakers have suggested. He responded: “I don’t want to sit and negotiate here. I’d rather sit down with the president and let’s have those discussions.”

While McCarthy said cuts to Medicare and Social Security would not be on the table, the Biden administration claims that is what Republicans want. White House spokesperson Andrew Bates accused Republicans of trying to cut “vital lifelines for the middle class that Americans pay into throughout their lives.”

“For years, congressional Republicans have advocated for slashing earned benefits using Washington code words like ‘strengthen,’ when their policies would privatize Medicare and Social Security, raise the retirement age, or cut benefits,” Bates claimed in a statement.

The White House has yet to show interest in negotiating conditions for a debt ceiling increase.

“I will not let anyone use the full faith and credit of the United States as a bargaining chip. In the United States of America, we pay our debts,” Biden said in a speech last Thursday.

Still, McCarthy expressed optimism about the upcoming meeting with the president.

“I know the president said he didn’t want to have any discussions, but I think it’s very important that our whole government is designed to find compromise,” McCarthy said.

“I want to sit down together, work out an agreement that we can move forward to put us on a path to balance and at the same time not put any of our debt in jeopardy,” the speaker continued.

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1 month ago

Well, they can stop sending billions of our money to other countries, like the Ukraine. They spend our money like it’s water, then want the Americans to tighten their belts even more. It’s criminal what is being done to the American taxpayer, while the politicians live like kings.

1 month ago

I did not read the article but will wait anbd see if McCarthy has them or is an eunuch.

William E Danielson
William E Danielson
Reply to  CITIZEN
1 month ago

McCarthy is a joke like the whole rest of the scummy GOP