House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) addresses the media after meeting with President Joe Biden on the debt ceiling at the White House on Tuesday, May 16, 2023.
Tom Williams | CQ-Roll Call Inc. | Getty Images
WASHINGTON — House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said on Monday during a meeting with President Joe Biden at the White House later that day that with only 10 days left before the U.S. is on the brink of default, he said, “We need to make a decision. ‘ said.
“We need a movement,” McCarthy told reporters at the Capitol to make progress toward a deal to raise the debt ceiling. “I know where people think they should be able to reach.”
McCarthy said after three hours of negotiations between the White House and the House Republican envoy over how to reach a deal on raising the debt ceiling.
Biden and McCarthy’s talks came after a dramatic weekend when talks broke down on Friday, citing stalled levels of government spending, but resumed hours later.
The two leaders spoke by phone on Sunday evening and described the conversation as “productive”. It could set the stage for a move toward a deal this week. Biden and McCarthy are scheduled to meet in the Oval Office at 5:30 p.m. ET on Monday.
Rep. Patrick McHenry (RN.C.), one of the Republican negotiators on Monday, said he was “concerned about getting a deal that would pass the House, Senate and be signed by the president. There are,” he said.
“It’s complicated math,” McHenry told CNN.
“We are at a very delicate moment here and the goal is to get something that can be legislated,” he added.
McHenry is a Republican, and Rep. Garrett Graves of Labada also joined the talks. The White House team consists of Counselor Steve Ricketty, Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young, and Office of Legislative Affairs Director Louisa Terrell.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Sunday reaffirmed June 1 as the government’s “tough deadline” as it will likely face its first-ever Treasury default if it does not raise the debt ceiling.
“By early June, we won’t be able to pay all our bills, and it could be as early as June 1,” Yellen told NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“My assessment is that it is highly unlikely that we will be able to pay all bills and arrive by June 15,” she said, warning that there will always be uncertainty about exact earnings and payments. .
Biden and McCarthy acknowledged that one of the key deadlocks in the talks was the issue of spending caps, a key request for the Republican Party but a red line for the White House so far. there is While raising the debt ceiling would not allow for new spending, Republicans have argued for drastic cuts in government spending as part of the deal to raise the borrowing ceiling.
“The fundamental problem here is that since the Democrats took the majority, they’ve been obsessed with spending. And it’s going to stop. We’re going to spend less than we did last year,” McCarthy said. He told reporters at the Houses of Parliament on Monday morning. .
Biden hopes to reach a debt limit deal that puts the next deadline past the 2024 presidential election. But House Republicans, who have so far only supported a one-year rate hike, argue that if Mr. Biden wants more time, he will have to agree to more rate cuts.
Over the weekend, the president also accused Republicans of calling for large amounts of federal discretionary spending to be exempt from proposed cuts, including defense spending and veterans’ medical benefits.
Biden explained that if those categories were indeed eliminated, significant cuts in all other discretionary spending would be required to make up the difference.
Mr. Biden said on Sunday in Japan during the G7 summit that such sweeping cuts would make “no sense at all.” “It’s time for Republicans to accept that bipartisan agreements cannot be made on partisan terms alone.”