McCarthy accuses Biden of ‘playing politics’ with debt ceiling, demands he sit down on spending cuts
‘Here’s the leader of the free world, banging on the table’: Kevin McCarthy accuses Biden of ‘playing politics’ with debt ceiling, demands to sit down with White House to discuss spending cuts
- Democrats, who run the White House and Senate, have taken the position that they are not negotiating spending cuts to offset the debt limit hike.
- House Republicans vow not to pass clean debt ceiling increase
- Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has been sounding the alarm about the lack of action
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy gave a news conference Tuesday night.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday accused President Joe Biden of “playing politics” on the US debt limit amid a standoff over how to avoid a massive national default that could sink financial markets around the world.
‘I want to look the president in the eye and tell myself that there is not a wasteful dollar in government. Who believes that? the American public doesn’t believe that,’ the Republican leader told reporters at a news conference Tuesday night.
Our entire government is designed to compromise, but here’s the leader of the free world, banging the table, being irresponsible, saying “No, no, no, just raise the limit. Make us spend more.” No, that’s not how adults act.
It comes on the same day that Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen sent a letter to McCarthy notifying her that her department would temporarily freeze funding for a health care and retirement program for government employees as part of “extraordinary” measures taken to continue paying the country’s bills.
She notified Congress last week that the US had hit its debt limit – the total amount of monetary debt the federal government can take on, with which it pays for military salaries, Social Security benefits and other programs that affect to millions of people.
House Republicans have made it clear they won’t agree to raising the debt ceiling without offsetting it with spending cuts elsewhere.
Meanwhile, Democrats in the White House and Senate refuse to budge on such negotiations. Biden officials have argued that raising the debt ceiling is an “obligation” on the government.
A statement on Friday said Biden “looks forward” to sitting down with McCarthy to discuss the problems facing the country, including its debts.
McCarthy said he wanted to talk to the White House about spending cuts, but they refused to negotiate on it.
Democrats have declared that raising the debt limit is a “must” rather than a “negotiation.”
But the California Republican suggested Tuesday that such a meeting is far from being on the calendar.
“What I’ve asked is that we sit down, find common ground and eliminate wasteful spending to protect the taxpayers who work hard to protect America’s future,” McCarthy told reporters.
‘And for the president to say that he would not even negotiate, that is irresponsible. We are going to be responsible. We’re going to be sensible and we’re going to do this together.’
But they will have to do it before the United States defaults, something that has never happened in the country’s history.
When the country came close in 2011 amid a congressional impasse, the US lost its top-tier credit rating from Standard and Poor’s Rating Services.
The financial crisis threatened to upend the global economy then, as it does now.
The debt ceiling was last raised by Congress in late 2021.
Avoiding a clean debt limit increase without spending cuts was one of the key terms McCarthy agreed to earlier this month to win the Speaker’s gavel, garnering enough conservative support after four days and 15 rounds of voting.