WASHINGTON (AP) — A White House official confirmed that President Joe Biden will meet with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., on Wednesday, amid Republicans’ debt-ceiling standoff with Democrats.
A White House spokesperson said Sunday that Biden will host McCarthy at the White House for a discussion about a variety of issues as part of a series of meetings with congressional leaders at the start of the new Congress. Last week, Biden met with Democratic leaders including New York Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Illinois Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, and New York House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries.
According to the spokesperson, Biden will discuss his plans to grow the economy while reducing the deficit. According to the spokesperson, he will ask what McCarthy’s plan is, as the first bill McCarthy introduced would increase the deficit by more than $100 billion.
According to the spokesperson, Biden plans to ask McCarthy whether he intends to meet his constitutional obligation to avoid a national default and not jeopardise the economic security of all Americans.
McCarthy first stated his intention to meet with Biden this week to discuss the debt ceiling during an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday. He stated that Republicans would not allow the United States to default, and he expressed interest in working with the president to reach an agreement.
“I know the president has said he doesn’t want to have any discussions, but I think it’s critical that our entire government is designed to find a compromise,” McCarthy said. “I want to find a reasonable way to raise the debt ceiling while reining in this out-of-control spending.”
This month, the government reached its statutory debt limit. The Treasury Department announced at the time that it had begun taking “extraordinary measures” to pay the bills, and that the deadline to act or risk default is June 5.
House Republicans have demanded spending cuts in exchange for raising the debt ceiling and averting a US debt default. However, party leaders have yet to present a unified plan to cut spending, complicating McCarthy’s task of passing a bill with his narrow majority.
There will be no negotiations, according to the White House, and Congress must allow the government to pay its bills. Democratic leaders in the House and Senate have backed Biden, requiring McCarthy to present his plan and have it approved by the House before any discussions can take place.
“I will not allow anyone to use the full faith and credit of the United States as a bargaining chip,” Biden said last week in his first major economic remarks of the year, arguing that Republican proposals would increase inflation.
McCarthy slammed Biden’s position, saying he’s “disappointed” but remains steadfast in his demand for spending cuts.
“Here’s the free world’s leader pounding on the table, being irresponsible, saying, ‘No, no, no, just raise the limit, make us spend more.'” No. “That’s not how adults behave,” McCarthy told reporters last week at the Capitol. “Let’s find common ground, and let’s eliminate the wasteful spending to protect the hard-working taxpayers.
“So the longer he waits, the more he puts America’s fiscal future in jeopardy,” McCarthy added.