Press "Enter" to skip to content

Biden says he believes McCarthy is an 'honest man' ahead of debt ceiling meeting

President Biden on Friday said he believes Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is an “honest man” ahead of a high stakes meeting next week on the debt ceiling, but lamented that McCarthy is in some ways hostage to the right wing of the GOP.

“I think he’s an honest man,” Biden told MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle when asked if McCarthy is an honest broker in negotiations on the debt ceiling.

He noted it took McCarthy 15 votes to become Speaker, and in the process he “just about sold away everything” to what Biden called “MAGA Republicans.”

“And the MAGA Republicans really have put him in a position where in order to stay Speaker he’s agreed to things that maybe he believes, but are just extreme,” Biden said in an advanced clip of an interview set to air Friday evening on MSNBC’s The 11th Hour.

The president’s comments came as he is set to meet next Tuesday with McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) at the White House.

Biden and the four congressional leaders are set to discuss raising the debt ceiling after Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned the nation could default as early as June, which would trigger significant economic consequences.

The White House has for months maintained that Congress has an obligation to raise the debt ceiling without conditions, pointing to decades of precedent and noting the debt has been accrued over hundreds of years and reflects spending the government has already approved.

The president has said he would be willing to discuss government spending with McCarthy, but that it should be kept separate from any vote to raise the debt ceiling.

Republicans, however, are using the debt ceiling as leverage as they seek significant cuts to government spending programs. 

House Republicans last month passed legislation that would raise the debt ceiling by $1.5 trillion or through the end of next March, whichever happens first. The bill would cap federal funding hashed out as part of the annual appropriations process at fiscal 2022 levels, while also limiting spending growth to 1 percent every year over the next decade.

Biden has said he will veto the bill, which is considered dead on arrival in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

Source: The Hill

Be First to Comment

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *