Washington (AP) – The President Joe Biden Speaker of the House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy On Wednesday, prepare for a face-to-face meeting at the White House, the new Republican leader hoping to negotiate deep cuts to federal spending in a broader deal to prevent a debt limit crisis.
McCarthy arrived without a formal GOP budget proposal, but saddled with promises he made to the far-right and other conservative Republican lawmakers during his difficult tenure. Campaign to become Speaker of the House. He then pledged to work to bring federal spending back to 2022 levels – an 8% cut. He also promised to take steps to balance the budget during the decade—an ambitious, if politically distant, goal.
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The political and economic stakes are high for both leaders, who own friendly relationshipAnd for the sake of the nation as they work to prevent debt default. But expectations are low that the first meeting will yield early results.
“Everyone is asking the same question to Speaker McCarthy: Show us your plan. Where’s your plan, Republicans?” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DNY, said before the afternoon meeting.
“For several days, Speaker McCarthy has heralded this showdown as kind of a major victory in his debt ceiling talks,” Schumer said. But he added, “Speaker McCarthy showing up at the White House without a plan is like sitting at the table with no cards in hand.”
The nation is heading toward a financial showdown over raising the debt ceiling, a once-usual vote in Congress that has gained prominence over the past decade as the country’s debt burden mounts. House Republicans, who have been given the new powers by a majority, want to force Biden and Democratic senators to make budget cuts as part of a deal to raise the cap.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told Congress last month that the government was Borrowing limit reached $31 trillion, with congressional approval needed to raise the ceiling to allow more debt to pay the bills the country already owes. And while Yellen was able to launch “extraordinary measures” to cover the bills temporarily, that funding will run out in June.
Before the White House meeting, House Republicans met privately early Wednesday to discuss policies. McCarthy met Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday at the Capitol.
McConnell has a history of cutting deals with Biden during the last debt-ceiling showdown a decade ago. But the Senate GOP leader, in the minority party, says it is up to McCarthy and the president to come up with a deal that will be acceptable to the new House majority.
However, McConnell is doing his part to influence the process from afar, pushing Biden to negotiate.
McConnell said in remarks to the Senate: “The president of the United States does not have the right to walk away from the table.” “The American people changed control of the House of Representatives because voters wanted to constrain the Democrats’ wild, reckless, and partisan spending.”
Cutting the federal budget is often easier said than done, as past budget deals have shown.
After facing the 2011 debt ceiling during the Obama era, Republicans and Democrats agreed to cap the overall federal budget on domestic and defense spending that was supposed to remain in place for 10 years but ultimately proved too unsustainable.
After initial cuts, the parties agreed in subsequent years to change budget caps to protect priority programs. The caps recently expired anyway, and Congress last year approved a $1.7 trillion federal spending bill that sparked new fury among fiscal hawks.
McCarthy said over the weekend that he would not propose any cuts to Social Security and Medicare programs intended for older Americans, but that other Republicans want cuts to those as part of an overall belt-tightening.
These mainstay programs, along with the Medicaid health care system, make up the bulk of federal spending and are politically difficult to cut, especially as the number of residents needing services in congressional districts grows nationwide.
Non-mandatory programs for the federal budget, in the defense and domestic accounts, have also proven difficult to curtail.
Agreeing on the size and scope of the GOP’s proposed cuts will be a tall order for McCarthy as he struggles to build consensus within the House Republican majority and bridge the divide between the conservative and far-right wings of the party.
Biden has been here before, having brokered financial deals from 2011-2012 when he was vice president with McConnell.
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