Saturday, June 3, 2023

Debt ceiling: Biden and McCarthy to meet Monday after ‘productive’ call

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy will meet in person on Monday as the administration faces a deadline to raise the US debt ceiling before federal funds are released. They will be sold out early next month.

The leaders spoke by phone Sunday as the president flew home on Air Force One after the Group of Seven summit in Japan. McCarthy, R-Calif., told reporters on Capitol Hill that the call was “productive” and that halted talks would resume later that day.

Both sides have said progress is being made, but they are far from over. Biden’s Treasury Department has said it could run out of cash as early as June 1, and US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Sunday: “I think that’s a tough deadline.”

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

The Republican leader said that “there is no agreement on anything” and that “we’ve all said where we are and we’re trying to find common ground to get there.”

Their conversation was followed by an exchange of harsh rhetoric that reflected the high stakes of the matchup.

Biden was to travel from Hiroshima to Papua New Guinea and Australia, but cut short his trip in light of tense talks on Capitol Hill.

I think you’d like to deal with me directly to make sure we’re all on the same page,” Biden said ahead of their expected conversation with McCarthy.

Despite their differences, the president said, a settlement is within reach.

“I hope that President McCarthy is waiting to talk with me when I get home,” he said. “I’m waiting to find out.”

What republicans demand

In the latest round of talks, McCarthy’s team demanded sharp cuts in non-defense spending, while pushing for increased funding for the military.

The person said the most affected sectors were likely to be education, health, the Meals on Wheels food program and other projects.

The Republican Party wants to combine employment requirements with Medicaid, although the government has responded that millions of people would lose their health coverage.

Republicans have introduced new cuts in food aid by limiting the ability of states to remove job requirements in places with high unemployment, an idea already floated by the Trump administration and estimated to cost 700,000 people. People will lose their food subsidy.

In addition, Republican legislators sought to reduce funding of the Internal Revenue Service of the United States Department of the Treasury (IRS), and asked the White House to accept portions of their immigration reform proposal. .

What does the White House offer

The White House instead offered to hold defense and non-defense spending steady next year, which would save $90 billion in fiscal year 2024 and $1 trillion over 10 years.

Republicans also rejected White House proposals to increase revenue to further reduce the deficit.

Rejected by Republicans

Among the options rejected by Republicans were rules that would allow Medicare to pay less for prescription drugs and to close a dozen loopholes in the tax law.

Republicans have refused to repeal tax breaks for corporations and wealthy families that were introduced in the Trump administration as proposed in the Biden budget.

Given Saturday’s lack of progress and mutual accusations that the other side was being unfair, Biden received frequent reports on the status of the talks and instructed his team to set up a call with McCarthy.

The decision to schedule the call came after another day with no sign of progress.

Food was brought to a room in the Capitol on Saturday morning, but it was taken away hours later and no gathering was expected. ,

What did the Biden team bring to the table

Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement, “The president’s (lower house) team put forward a resolution that was a huge step backwards and contained a set of highly partisan demands that have never been passed by both houses of Congress.” could have been done.” Saturday night.

“Let’s be clear: The president’s team is ready to meet at any moment,” Jean-Pierre said, noting that the Republican leadership is eyeing its extreme wing by threatening default.

McCarthy said the White House is retreating

McCarthy tweeted that it was the White House that was “walking back on the conversation.”

He said the “socialist wing” of the Democratic Party has taken over, “especially President Biden out of the country.”

Republican Congressman Dusty Johnson, who worked closely with McCarthy to shape the Republican proposal, told The Associated Press on Saturday night that there was no meeting scheduled for Sunday.

Republican negotiators are trying to get the president’s attention instead.

Johnson warned, “If the president doesn’t recommit, I don’t know if the talks will bear fruit.”

At the G7 summit in Japan, Biden attempted to reassure his allies that the United States would not default, something that would shake the world economy. He said he saw progress in the talks.

“The first meetings were not so progressive, the second were, the third were”, the president said, adding that in his opinion “we will be able to avoid a default and we will be able to do something good”.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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