This article was originally published by Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge.
Negotiations in Washington DC over the debt ceiling have taken a big step back over the weekend, as the White House and House Republicans continue to point fingers at each other.
“It seems as though he wants default more than he wants a deal,” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) told Fox News on Sunday. “We have got 11 days to go,” McCarthy continued, urging Biden and the Democrats to be “sensible about this.”
Republicans have been pushing for substantial, longer-term spending reductions, arguing that Congress needs to roll the nation’s deficit spending back to 2022 levels while restricting the growth of government spending. The White House, on the other hand, wants to achieve policy goals via taxation.
McCarthy said there’s some talk of extending the debt ceiling until 2025, but he said he’s demanding cuts to federal spending in exchange for GOP votes to do so. Biden, he said, is resisting.
“The president keeps changing positions every time Bernie Sanders has a press conference,” he said.
McCarthy said Biden is demanding tax increases after earlier agreeing to keep them off the table. He also said Republicans have made compromises but didn’t specify them. –Bloomberg
Meanwhile, Biden – speaking at a press conference held after the Group of Seven (G-7) summit in Hiroshima, said that he would speak with McCarthy shortly, though he added that the Republican plan was unacceptable.
“The speaker and I’ll be talking later on the plane as we head back,” said Biden. “And our teams are going to continue working.”
"Much of what they already proposed is simply, quite frankly unacceptable."
Pres. Biden addresses the debt ceiling negotiations with House Speaker McCarthy after negotiations were put on pause while Biden is abroad. pic.twitter.com/Lotumo4OKM
— ABC News (@ABC) May 21, 2023
“I’m willing to cut spending, and I proposed cuts in spending of over a trillion dollars,” he continued. “But I believe we have to also look at the tax revenues,” adding that the Republican proposal to cut $2 trillion in taxes would hurt the economy.
“Now it’s time for the other side to move from their extreme positions, because much of what they’ve already proposed is simply, quite frankly, unacceptable,” Biden told reporters. “And it’s time for Republicans to accept that there is no bipartisan deal to be made solely on their partisan terms.”
He also rambled a lot.
In all seriousness — what is Biden talking about? pic.twitter.com/YtfhVFxNHE
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) May 21, 2023
Biden’s comments came after McCarthy on Saturday accused the White House of backtracking during negotiations, and told reporters that there would be no progress made until Biden returns from the trip.
“The White House is moving backward in negotiations,” McCarthy tweeted Saturday afternoon. “Unfortunately, the socialist wing of the Democrat Party appears to be in control—especially with President Biden out of the country.”
The White House is moving backward in negotiations.
Unfortunately, the socialist wing of the Democrat Party appears to be in control—especially with President Biden out of the country.
— Kevin McCarthy (@SpeakerMcCarthy) May 20, 2023
“President Biden doesn’t think there is a single dollar of savings to be found in the federal government’s budget,” McCarthy tweeted in the evening. “He’d rather be the first president in history to default on the debt than to risk upsetting the radical socialists who are calling the shots for Democrats right now.”
President Biden doesn’t think there is a single dollar of savings to be found in the federal government’s budget.
He’d rather be the first president in history to default on the debt than to risk upsetting the radical socialists who are calling the shots for Democrats right now.
— Kevin McCarthy (@SpeakerMcCarthy) May 21, 2023
One of McCarthy’s top deputies, House Financial Services Chair Patrick McHenry (R-NC) on Sunday said he’s ‘pessimistic’ about the current state of negotiations, and that there is no plans for DC-based negotiations to continue at this time.
In response to McCarthy’s comments, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre issued a statement from Hiroshima, reiterating Biden’s c all for a “reasonable bipartisan budget agreement.”
“Last night in D.C., the Speaker’s team put on the table an offer that was a big step back and contained a set of extreme partisan demands that could never pass both Houses of Congress,” she said.
Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen underscored the urgency of the situation, telling NBC that the likelihood the US would be able to pay its bills by mid-June is “quite low.”
“Well, there’s always uncertainty about tax receipts and spending,” Yellen told “Meet the Press” on Sunday. “And so it’s hard to be absolutely certain about this, but my assessment is that the odds of reaching June 15 while being able to pay all of our bills is quite low.”
CHUCK TODD: So there will be some bills unpaid if the debt ceiling is not raised?
YELLEN: Yes pic.twitter.com/tHWiqiea5Q
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 21, 2023
“Deficits can be addressed both through changes in spending and also through changes in revenue — and Republicans have taken that off the table,” Yellen continued.
Janet Yellen: "Deficits can be addressed both through changes in spending and also through changes in revenue — and Republicans have taken that off the table." pic.twitter.com/Mqgtbixque
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) May 21, 2023
In short, drama right up to the finish line. Did you expect anything less?