GOP debt limit negotiator says there’s no chance they’ll give up work requirements for benefits
Top GOP negotiator Garret Graves said “hell no” when asked Friday if Republicans could potentially give in to their demands for tougher job requirements for receiving Social Security benefits in a debt ceiling agreement.
‘Not really. Not really. Not a chance, not happening,” the Louisiana Republican told reporters, as he took to the heels of a demand many in the Democratic caucus say they will resist at all costs.
“Democrats are willing to default on the debt right now so they can continue to pay Social Security benefits to people who refuse to work,” he said.
“We still have big issues for which we haven’t bridged the gap,” the negotiator said as he got in a car and headed to the White House — not for debt negotiations, but to celebrate the Louisiana State University women’s basketball team with President Biden .
He said he would return to the Capitol after the celebration to resume debt talks.
Top GOP negotiator Garret Graves said ‘hell no’ when asked Friday if Republicans could potentially give in to their demands for stricter welfare work requirements
Fellow top negotiator Rep. Patrick McHenry told reporters on his way to the speaker’s office that no face-to-face meetings were scheduled for Friday between House GOP negotiators and White House negotiators Steve Ricchetti and Shalanda Young.
Graves, along with Rep. Patrick McHenry, RN.C., led debt negotiations for Speaker McCarthy with the White House
Graves had said a day earlier that the White House “refused to negotiate” job requirements.
Both the Progressive Caucus and Congressional Black Caucus have warned President Biden not to give in to strengthening job requirements for programs like SNAP and TANF, along with Medicaid.
The debt limit and austerity bill passed by Republicans last month, the Limit Save Grow Act, increased work requirements to 20 hours per week for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP – also known as food stamps) for people between the ages of 50 and 56. current program only has such requirements for people between 18 and 49, who are able-bodied and have no dependents.
It would also limit the number of exceptions states can make to the requirements.
On SNAP, the Republican proposal would save $11 billion over 10 years.
Creating new Medicaid job requirements would generate the most savings from the GOP job proposals, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office — $109 billion over the next decade — though that’s the program the White House is most opposed to raising job requirements. lay .
Meanwhile, speaker Kevin McCarthy is under pressure from the right wing of his caucus.
He insisted to reporters on Friday that he was “not at all” concerned about warnings from conservative members of his caucus because they “don’t know what’s in the deal.”
Earlier this week, 35 members of the House Freedom Caucus distributed a letter to the GOP conference urging McCarthy to “stay on the phone” in talks with the White House and not to water down the Limit Save Grow Act.
That bill would raise the debt ceiling by $1.5 trillion in exchange for saving $4.5 trillion by capping spending in 2024 at fiscal year 2022 levels. It will also limit growth to one percent per years for 10 years.
“You’re talking to people who don’t know what’s in the deal. So I’m not worried about anyone commenting at this point on what they think is or isn’t in it,” McCarthy said, when asked about the opposition’s grumbling at his conference.
“If you’re wondering if you can stay on the line, which is where we’ve been all along, we don’t want to be on this deadline. We wanted to solve this months before.’
McCarthy said he believed “progress” had been made in the overnight debt talks, although the two sides are still tied up on the biggest part: spending levels.
“I thought we made progress last night. We need to make more progress now,” McCarthy told reporters on his way to the Capitol.
He said he met his top negotiator, Deputy Garret Graves, for a bike ride in the morning.
“It’s about expenses. The Democrats never want to stop,” McCarthy said.
In 2011, the country found itself in a similar crisis under former President Barack Obama, who also faced a Republican House against raising the ceiling.
While the ceiling was raised, the threat of a default was enough to shake US financial markets and downgrade the country’s rating from AAA to AA+.
Speaker Kevin McCarthy said he believed “progress” had been made in debt talks overnight, though the two sides are still stuck on the biggest part: spending levels
Graves and McHenry were seen re-entering the speaker’s office mid-morning Friday.
The two sides have still not agreed on a topline number for raising the country’s borrowing limit.
President Biden will head to Camp David on Friday before planning to spend the weekend at his home in Delaware. The White House insists he can negotiate over the phone from anywhere.
‘We’re here night after night after night. The pressure is greater, the consequences greater. We recognize that. The White House should recognize that,” said McHenry, NC.
Reporters desperately scramble around the speaker for updates on the impending deal that could avoid a catastrophic default
Bloomberg reports that the two parties strike a deal that would raise the debt limit for two years and limit spending for the same amount of time — and the deal would recoup $10 billion of the $80 billion increase in IRS funding the Democrats made last year. have passed Congress.
But a source familiar with the talks told DailyMail.com that the two parties have not agreed on the grand prize and that they disagree on extending the loan for one or two years. Republicans want just one year, Democrats want to push the extension through the next election.
The two sides will also discuss defense spending on Friday. Republicans wanted a big increase in the defense budget, even though they want cuts in general, while the Democrats wanted cuts. The two sides could agree on a small increase — in line with President Biden’s $886.3 billion budget request.