President Biden on Tuesday called Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) “a decent guy” who has “a tough job” ahead of him as Speaker when it comes to negotiating the nation’s finances in relation to an anticipated debt ceiling fight.
“I met with the Speaker of the House. He’s a decent guy. He’s got a tough job. He made it real clear to me what he wants to do. He says he’s not going to raise taxes at all, on anybody. He just wants to cut programs,” Biden said in a speech at the National Association of Counties in Washington.
The president and the Speaker met earlier this month to begin talks on how to avoid a government default, although neither side made any commitments. McCarthy is now reportedly working to find a compromise with the multiple camps of the Republican caucus to get enough votes to raise the debt ceiling and tie it to spending cuts.
Republicans have suggested spending cuts in exchange for raising the debt ceiling, but they’ve offered scant details on what funds they want slashed and where.
Biden on Tuesday reiterated calls for Republicans to show him their budget plans.
The president said he suggested to McCarthy in their meeting at the White House that “instead of making threats about the debt ceiling, which would be catastrophic, let’s just lay out our budgets.”
The president noted that he will release his budget proposal on March 9, adding that it would include “what I want to spend, who gets taxed, who doesn’t get taxed, what programs get cut, what programs get added, and he should do the same.”
“We can sit down — and I mean this sincerely — go over it,” Biden said, without offering any more details about his budget plan.
Biden and White House officials have said Congress should raise the debt limit without conditions, while some Republicans have argued any vote to raise the debt ceiling should include cuts to government spending.
Biden has also leaned into attacks on the GOP over Social Security and Medicare, battling with Republicans during his State of the Union address last week over spending cuts on entitlement programs in order to raise the debt ceiling.
Source: The Hill