Ahead of meeting with Biden, McCarthy says debt, spending deal needed ‘this week’
President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy will meet late Monday afternoon in the Oval Office to directly negotiate with just 10 days to reach a debt ceiling and spending deal or risk an unprecedented default.
Prior to their one-on-one meeting, White House representatives spent almost three hours working with Republican negotiators on Capitol Hill after their early Monday return.
McCarthy told reporters early Monday afternoon that Biden would need a deal by this week in order for it to pass the House and Senate before the June 1st X date when Treasury Secretary Jane Yellen has said the U.S. could default.
Yellen warned Sunday that June 1 is a hard deadline for raising the debt limit and the possibility of making it to mid June without default is quite low.
McCarthy said when asked
whether he felt an agreement could be reached as soon as Monday night I think it was preferable to have a settlement sooner. I believe we can. Tonight we can work out a bargain. You must act this week in order to accept the deal and send it to the Senate, even though we may reach an agreement tomorrow.
He remarked referring to House members we’re going to need a couple of days to write it and to make sure that everyone can read it.
He cited a compromise he made in order to be elected speaker, reverting to the former requirement that House members had 72 hours to consider legislation before voting on it.
Although he acknowledged that the limited time frame made it more difficult he said, I think this will make it all happen.
The question of whether McCarthy will have the votes necessary to approve a deal in the House if one is struck is another pressing issue as discussions go.
McCarthy resisted when asked whether he could depend on extreme right wing House Republicans to approve a debt limit agreement or if he would also need Democratic backing.
Democrats and Republicans would always support an agreement that is reached via negotiations with the president, he said.
The House Freedom Caucus, which is made up of numerous Republican hardliners demanded that negotiations with the Biden administration end and that all efforts instead be directed toward passing the Limit Save Grow Act in the Senate. This legislation would drastically cut spending in exchange for a one year increase in the debt ceiling which Democrats have deemed unworkable.
Because of their resistance McCarthy could need a sizable number of Democratic votes to approve a debt ceiling agreement. Progressives are urging Biden to utilize the 14th Amendment to take unilateral action on the matter after warning of backlash if he gives Republicans too much ground.
McCarthy would to disclose if there had been any progress with the White House when he entered the Capitol earlier on Monday continuing to attack Democrats spending.
The fundamental problem, according to McCarthy, is that Democrats have been spending compulsively ever since gaining control of Congress McCarthy promised that spending would be reduced this year compared to previous.
Biden and McCarthy to meet on Monday to negotiate directly on debt ceiling
While McCarthy expressed excitement for his 5:30 p.m. He grabbed the opportunity to bash Biden while meeting with the president at the White House.
“Managing a crisis in the last deadline is the worst way to handle this. That’s why Republicans took action,” he said.
Biden and McCarthy spoke on Sunday after negotiations stalled over the weekend, primarily over the issue of spending and the length of budget caps.
Biden said the call “went well” and McCarthy labelled it a “productive” conversation but emphasized there was “no agreement.”