Debt ceiling deal may be close, McCarthy says — but will the rest of Congress buy it?
With the deadline for a solution approached, discussions between House officials and the White House were progressing toward a compromise to extend the nation’s debt limit. Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Friday told reporters outside the Capitol.
But, McCarthy added, there remains more work to do to strike a deal before the nation defaults on its debt.
We need to go forward further, he remarked, adding that he believed we made progress last night. There is currently not much time left.
Prior to Memorial Day weekend, President Biden and the Republican speaker must find a deal to extend the 31 trillion $ debt ceiling. A two year deal that would reduce government expenditure while raising the borrowing ceiling seems to be on the verge of being reached between the two men.
reports The Associated Press.
The deadline facing them could be as soon as Thursday, June 1, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s projected date when the Treasury could run out of money to pay the country’s bills.
Wicked game: Kevin McCarthy’s debt-ceiling “crisis” is political theater at its worst
The noticeable challenge here is that any agreement reached between Biden and McCarthy would need the political backing of both Democrats and Republicans in order to succeed, with at least some progressive Democrats likely to side with Republicans who reject a compromise.
The two sides are stuck on whether to meet GOP demands to implement stiffer work requirements on some of the most vulnerable Americans those who receive food stamps, monetary assistance and health care from the government a source with knowledge of the talks said.
McCarthy and Biden, however, seemed optimistic about the negotiations going into the holiday weekend.
Biden expressed his opinion that achieving a bipartisan consensus is the best course of action during remarks on Thursday at the White House. And I think we’ll get a compromise that lets us go ahead and safeguards the nation’s hard-working citizens.
Since Republicans called Congress into recess early on Friday, lawmakers are not expected to return to work before Tuesday, meaning that a vote to pass the compromise, which McCarthy promised to post 72 hours beforehand, in line with currentHouse rules, could come dangerously close to the possible deadline. The Democrat led Senate has vowed to move quickly to send the bill to Biden’s desk.
The news of the latest developments broke on Thursday and Friday during tense discussions between Democrats and Republicans, with one side blaming the other of sabotaging the talks for the sake of Americans.
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On Thursday a group of 34 Republican representatives affiliated with the House Freedom Caucus posted on Twitter a letter to McCarthy urging him to add additional provisions to the “Limit, Save, Grow” Act they passed — such as a bill addressing border crossings and removing funding for new FBI headquarters — and to demand Yellen provide evidence justifying the June 1 deadline. The GOP members also encouraged McCarthy to combine and pass two other provisions “clawing back unspent COVID funds and repealing Democrats’ funding for 87,000 new IRS agents” as a standalone measure.
“House Republicans have done our duty in passing the Limit, Save, Grow Act and you were repeatedly rebuffed in your attempts to bring President Biden to the negotiating table,” the letter read. “Despite claiming he would be ‘blameless,’ President Biden is entirely responsible for any breach in the debt ceiling, period.”
The letter concluded with what could be a veiled threat, telling McCarthy that the best hope for “transformative change in Washington comes from a unified House Republican Conference. You have that. We are behind you. Use our unity to make history.”
Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, one of the letters’ signatories, attacked the entire debt-ceiling negotiation process on Thursday, calling on fellow lawmakers to employ their “power of the purse” to control government spending.
Will we employ the force of the purse to protect the American people from the tyranny of the executive branch when the stakes are highest? Roy said. Or are we going to tuck tail take the first exit ramp off and walk away?
“Joe Biden refused to negotiate with Speaker McCarthy on the debt ceiling for months,” Freedom Caucus member Rep. Ben Cline, R-Va., tweeted Friday. “House Republicans did our job. We passed a bill to responsibly raise the debt ceiling & cap future spending. This is the Democrats’ Debt Crisis.”
Some Democrats also weighed in online Friday, accusing Republicans of holding Americans and the nation’s economy hostage
Republicans are accountable for: $10 trillion in tax cuts for the wealthiest, $8 trillion in continuous wars, Democrat Ilhan Omar tweeted. And now they are holding the American people hostage to take away healthcare food and veterans benefits??
Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D Wash., who chairs the Congressional Progressive Caucus, echoed those sentiments in a Friday tweet,
Because they claim to want to reduce the deficit yet reject each and every one of our deficit reduction suggestions, the GOP is holding our economy hostage over the debt limit. It’s simple: this is a crisis manufactured by Republicans, she said.
“Republicans are threatening a default on our debt — just so they can rip away healthcare & life-saving assistance for vulnerable people,” added Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass. “Their cruelty, callousness, and contempt is the point. We need a clean debt ceiling increase now.”