White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre attacked House Republicans during Thursday’s press briefing for not raising the debt ceiling to avoid default — despite the fact that the Republican-led House literally passed a bill on Wednesday to do exactly that.
While President Joe Biden and the Democrats want to raise the debt ceiling much higher without any negotiation or any spending cuts, Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) “Limit, Save, Grow” bill would lift the debt ceiling through early 2024 while also saving the federal government around $4.8 trillion over the next ten years.
However, Jean-Pierre refused to acknowledge the existence of that bill, which passed without a single Democrat vote.
The press secretary admonished House Republicans while speaking with White House reporters, arguing that it is their “constitutional duty to take action.”
She went on to state that the Biden administration refuses to negotiate on the matter — essentially saying Republicans have no say in how things are done.
“We are not negotiating on this,” Jean-Pierre said. “We’ve been very clear on this.”
“But Republicans in the House have now passed a bill that would prevent a default. So at what point?” a reporter pressed.
“They need to deal with what is a stake here … which is making sure we do not default,” Jean-Pierre said, once again ignoring the GOP’s bill passed less than 24 hours earlier.
“Again, this is something that they need to do,” she added. “It’s very simple, avoiding default is a congressional obligation.”
When asked by a reporter about whether the president would meet with the House Speaker over the issue, Jean-Pierre stated that Biden is “happy to meet with” McCarthy, but reiterated that the issue of raising the debt ceiling is “not negotiable.”
“He’s happy to meet with Speaker McCarthy, but not on whether or not the debt limit gets extended,” she said. “That is not negotiable. And we have been very clear about this.”
One reporter condemned Jean-Pierre’s comments as “intellectually dishonest.”
“Intellectually dishonest to say [Republicans] are holding the economy hostage…when they did pass a bill to raise the debt ceiling when the argument is really about the budget cuts?” the reporter asked.
“I disagree with the ‘intellectually dishonest’ that is certainly not how we see ourselves,” she claimed, adding that Republicans “need to deal with the debt ceiling.”
REPORTER: "Intellectually dishonest to say [Republicans] are holding the economy hostage…when they did pass a bill to raise the debt ceiling when the argument is really about the budget cuts?"
JEAN-PIERRE: "I disagree with the 'intellectually dishonest' that is certainly not… pic.twitter.com/p2VymU3NFJ
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) April 27, 2023
This is not the first time that Jean-Pierre has been hostile to the idea of Biden even negotiating with Republicans, as she stated in January that “The debt limit should be dealt with without conditions.”
Karine Jean-Pierre: “The debt limit should be dealt with without conditions.”
Over the years, Biden repeatedly said it was important to NEGOTIATE a debt limit increase — and even called negotiations a “great honor.” pic.twitter.com/1jRO4B6LhI
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) January 27, 2023
Meanwhile, Biden has bragged about negotiating with Republicans about the debt ceiling in the past, saying in 2011 that he was “pleased and thankful” to negotiate with the GOP-led House.
At the time, then-Vice President Biden also said that it was important to “understand where the other guy is coming from.”
In 2011, Biden expressed how “pleased and thankful” he was to negotiate a debt limit increase with the new Republican House.
Biden said it was important to “understand where the other guy is coming from.”
Now, Biden says the debt limit should be raised with "no negotiation." pic.twitter.com/d6XYGxIIfm
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) January 25, 2023