Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
McCarthy: 'No Agreement on Anything' as Debt Limit Deadline Nears. More Talks Set.
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 11 months ago on
May 22, 2023

Share

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy are set to meet at the White House at a pivotal moment as Washington works to strike a budget compromise and raise the nation’s borrowing limit in time to avert a devastating federal default.

The meeting Monday afternoon between the Democratic president and the new Republican speaker will be critical as they race to prevent a looming debt crisis. After a weekend of start-stop talks, both men appeared upbeat as they face a deadline, as soon as June 1, when the government could run out of cash to pay its bills.

Biden and McCarthy spoke by phone Sunday while the president was returning home on Air Force One after the Group of Seven summit in Japan. “It went well, we’ll talk tomorrow,” Biden said in response to a shouted question upon his return late Sunday.

The call revived talks and negotiators met for 2 1/2 hours at the Capitol late Sunday evening, saying little as they left. Financial markets turned down last week after talks stalled.

McCarthy, R-Calif., told reporters earlier Sunday that the call with Biden was “productive” and that the on-again, off-again negotiations between his staff and White House representatives are focused on spending cuts.

Biden told a press conference before departing from Japan: “I think that we can reach an agreement.”

The contours of an agreement appear within reach, and the negotiations have narrowed on a 2024 budget year cap that would be key to resolving the standoff. Republicans have insisted next year’s spending cannot be more than current 2023 levels, but Democrats have refused to accept the steeper cuts McCarthy’s team first proposed.

June 1 ‘Hard Deadline’

A budget deal would unlock a separate vote to lift the debt ceiling, now $31 trillion, to allow more borrowing to pay bills already incurred bills. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Sunday that June 1 is a “hard deadline.”

“We’ll keep working,” said Steve Ricchetti, counselor to the president, as the White House team exited talks late Sunday.

McCarthy said after his call with Biden that “I think we can solve some of these problems if he understands what we’re looking at.” The speaker added, “But I’ve been very clear to him from the very beginning. We have to spend less money than we spent last year.”

McCarthy emerged from that conversation sounding optimistic and was careful not to criticize Biden’s trip, as he had before. He did caution, “There’s no agreement on anything.”

Earlier, Biden used his concluding news conference in Hiroshima, Japan, to warn House Republicans that they must move off their “extreme positions” over raising the debt limit and that there would be no agreement to avoid a catastrophic default only on their terms.

Biden said “it’s time for Republicans to accept that there is no deal to be made solely, solely, on their partisan terms.” He said he had done his part in attempting to raise the borrowing limit so the government can keep paying its bills, by agreeing to significant cuts in spending. “Now it’s time for the other side to move from their extreme position.”

GOP lawmakers have been holding tight to demands for sharp spending cuts with caps on future spending, rejecting the alternatives proposed by the White House for reducing deficits in part with revenue from taxes.

Republicans want to roll back next year’s spending to 2022 levels, but the White House has proposed keeping 2024 the same as it is now, in the 2023 budget year. Republicans initially sought to impose spending caps for 10 years, though the latest proposal narrowed that to about six. The White House wants a two-year budget deal.

A compromise on those topline spending levels would enable McCarthy to deliver for conservatives, while not being so severe that it would chase off the Democratic votes that would be needed in the divided Congress to pass any bill.

Republicans also want work requirements on the Medicaid health care program, though the Biden administration has countered that millions of people could lose coverage. The GOP additionally introduced new cuts to food aid by restricting states’ ability to waive work requirements in places with high joblessness. But Democrats have said any changes to work requirements for government aid recipients are nonstarters.

GOP Seeking to Cut IRS Funding

GOP lawmakers are also seeking cuts in IRS money and, by sparing Defense and Veterans accounts from reductions, would shift the bulk of spending reductions to other federal programs.

The White House has countered by keeping defense and nondefense spending flat next year, which would save $90 billion in the 2024 budget year and $1 trillion over 10 years.

All sides have been eyeing the potential for the package to include a framework that would speed energy project developments.

And despite a push by Republicans for the White House to accept parts of their proposed immigration overhaul, McCarthy indicated the focus was on the House’s previously approved debt and budget package.

Republicans had also rejected various White House revenue proposals, with McCarthy insisting personally in his conversations to Biden that tax hikes are off the table.

For months, Biden had refused to engage in talks over the debt limit, contending that Republicans in Congress were trying to use the borrowing limit vote as leverage to extract administration concessions on other policy priorities.

But with the June 1 potential deadline looming and Republicans putting their own legislation on the table, the White House launched talks on a budget deal that could accompany an increase in the debt limit.

McCarthy faces a hard-right flank that is likely to reject any deal, which has led some Democrats encouraging Biden to resist any compromise with the Republicans and simply raise the debt ceiling on his own to avoid default.

The president, though, said he was ruling out the possibility, for now, of invoking the 14th Amendment as a solution, saying it’s an “unresolved” legal question that would become tied up in the courts.

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

Does Dyer Support (or Endorse) Bredefeld for Supervisor?

DON'T MISS

Get a 3D First Look at Merced’s High-Speed Rail Station Design

DON'T MISS

California Court to Decide on Transgender Ballot Measure Wording

DON'T MISS

Rare House Vote Sees Ukraine, Israel Aid Advance as Democrats Join Republicans

DON'T MISS

Full Jury and 6 Alternates Seated in Trump’s Hush Money Trial

DON'T MISS

Wired Wednesday: How High Will the Price of Gold & Silver Go?

DON'T MISS

How 4/20 Grew From Humble Roots to Marijuana’s High Holiday

DON'T MISS

Taylor Swift Drops 15 New Songs on Double Album, ‘The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology’

DON'T MISS

Lamborghini’s Race Evolution: From Tractors to the Track

DON'T MISS

Biden Administration Restricts Oil and Gas Leasing in 13 Million Acres of Alaska’s Petroleum Reserve

UP NEXT

Rare House Vote Sees Ukraine, Israel Aid Advance as Democrats Join Republicans

UP NEXT

Full Jury and 6 Alternates Seated in Trump’s Hush Money Trial

UP NEXT

Wired Wednesday: How High Will the Price of Gold & Silver Go?

UP NEXT

How 4/20 Grew From Humble Roots to Marijuana’s High Holiday

UP NEXT

Jury Selection Could Be Nearing a Close in Donald Trump’s Hush Money Trial in New York

UP NEXT

Who Owns Businesses in California? A Lawmaker Wants the Public to Know

UP NEXT

BTC Scammy Scams, Impact of Blockchain on Global Markets: Crypto The WonderDog Show

UP NEXT

Barbara Corcoran: 1% Interest Rate Drop Will Send Housing Prices ‘Through the Roof’

UP NEXT

California Sets Long-Awaited Drinking Water Limit for ‘Erin Brockovich’ Contaminant

UP NEXT

Biden is Off on Details of His Uncle’s WWII Death as He Calls Trump Unfit to Lead the Military

Rare House Vote Sees Ukraine, Israel Aid Advance as Democrats Join Republicans

3 hours ago

Full Jury and 6 Alternates Seated in Trump’s Hush Money Trial

3 hours ago

Wired Wednesday: How High Will the Price of Gold & Silver Go?

Video /

4 hours ago

How 4/20 Grew From Humble Roots to Marijuana’s High Holiday

5 hours ago

Taylor Swift Drops 15 New Songs on Double Album, ‘The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology’

5 hours ago

Lamborghini’s Race Evolution: From Tractors to the Track

5 hours ago

Biden Administration Restricts Oil and Gas Leasing in 13 Million Acres of Alaska’s Petroleum Reserve

5 hours ago

Logan Webb’s Seven Dominant Innings Help Giants Blank Diamondbacks

5 hours ago

San Francisco Mayor Announces the City Will Receive Pandas from China

5 hours ago

49ers to Pick 1st Round for First Time Since 2021

5 hours ago

Does Dyer Support (or Endorse) Bredefeld for Supervisor?

Is Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer mincing words about a Fresno County supervisorial race? Tuesday, Dyer appeared at a fundraiser for Garry Bredefel...

10 mins ago

10 mins ago

Does Dyer Support (or Endorse) Bredefeld for Supervisor?

1 hour ago

Get a 3D First Look at Merced’s High-Speed Rail Station Design

1 hour ago

California Court to Decide on Transgender Ballot Measure Wording

3 hours ago

Rare House Vote Sees Ukraine, Israel Aid Advance as Democrats Join Republicans

3 hours ago

Full Jury and 6 Alternates Seated in Trump’s Hush Money Trial

Video /
4 hours ago

Wired Wednesday: How High Will the Price of Gold & Silver Go?

5 hours ago

How 4/20 Grew From Humble Roots to Marijuana’s High Holiday

5 hours ago

Taylor Swift Drops 15 New Songs on Double Album, ‘The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology’

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend