Biden, McCarthy Debt Ceiling Talks

Biden, McCarthy Debt Ceiling Talks

( – President Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy will meet on February 1 to discuss a debt limit extension. Expectations are low after both sides have radically opposed debt limit-raising measures.

McCarthy wants a budget cap deal to lower government spending to 2022 levels without cutting Social Security or Medicare. On Tuesday, Jan. 31, he urged Biden to negotiate in good faith.

Biden has refused to discuss the debt limit and called on McCarthy and the Republicans to reveal their budget reduction plans.

Some Republicans want to cut Pentagon expenditures, while others want to cut domestic spending. They’ll discuss expenditure cutbacks on Wednesday morning.

McCarthy wants lawmakers to be unified in their messaging during debt limit discussions to avoid giving Democrats talking points. He supported raising the debt limit but urged politicians to take responsibility. Raising the ceiling without altering this administration’s spending tendencies is irresponsible.

The conversations are clouded by mutual distrust between both parties.

McCarthy believes that unless Biden negotiates, the US government will default. He said there would be no default if Biden and the Democrats were willing to talk. He worries the White House isn’t serious.

The Speaker said, “The only thing I’m really going to gauge is do you want to negotiate or do you want to play politics. … I’m not going to play these games. So, you tell me when you want to negotiate. But we’re eventually going to have to dance together. So, when do you want to play the music, now or later?”

The White House has doubts too. Administration officials urge Republicans to detail their deficit-cutting budget cuts and explain how they would work.

A document issued Tuesday by National Economic Council director Brian Deese and Office of Management and Budget director Shalanda Young states Biden’s opinion that the US must not default on any financial commitments. He thinks lifting the debt limit is a national obligation, not a discussion.

Biden will unveil his budget on March 9 and has called on Republicans to share theirs so Americans can see how they intend to cut the debt.

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