House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is not impressed with President Joe Biden’s response to the pending debt ceiling crisis. On Thursday, the Republican chided the president for not showing “seriousness” in good faith negotiations.
Speaking to reporters at a Capitol Hill news conference, he observed that “it seems like they want a default more than they want a deal.”
Staffers from both the administration and Congress are currently meeting, but the only appearance by the president lasted for just an hour Wednesday. That was when he briefly sat down in a much-ballyhooed face-to-face with congressional leaders.
Another meeting was to take place on Friday, but that was postponed.
Sources familiar with the discussions say the talks on raising Washington’s $31.4 trillion debt ceiling and avoiding default are edging forward.
*BIDEN DEBT CEILING MEETING WITH MCCARTHY PUSHED TO NEXT WEEK
*MCCARTHY: I DON'T THINK THERE'S ENOUGH PROGRESS FOR THE LEADERS TO GET BACK TOGETHER
— Investing.com (@Investingcom) May 12, 2023
A White House spokesperson said that despite the delay, “staff will continue working and all the principals agreed to meet early next week.” McCarthy told the media that the stall was not a sign of trouble in the process.
However, he added that he did not believe there was “enough progress for leaders to get back together.”
A pair of sources offered some surprising news from the White House. After months of saying that he would not negotiate on raising the debt ceiling, that Biden stance has apparently fallen by the wayside.
Officials reportedly agree that they must approve some spending cuts or specific and strict limits on future spending if a deal is to be reached. They also insist, however, that they must preserve the president’s pet project — last year’s climate package that was enacted along party lines.
Meanwhile, Republicans in the bill passed by the House insisted on keeping government spending to 2022 levels, limiting future increases to below inflation, and repealing federal incentives on environmentally-friendly technology such as electric vehicles.
Democrats want to kick the can on the next possible debt ceiling faceoff until after the 2024 presidential election. The GOP appears ready to accept this stipulation but is using that leverage to insist on larger spending cuts or stricter caps.
There is a roughly $200 billion difference between Biden’s wishes and the Republicans’ proposed 2024 budget.