McCarthy asks Biden to restart talks on budget, debt limit
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Tuesday called for President Biden to return to the negotiating table on the budget and the debt ceiling.
Why it matters: The clock is ticking on deadlines to avert a default on U.S. loans and fund the federal government for the next fiscal year.
- Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned the U.S. risks default by early June if Congress does not act.
- Congress skips town at the end of this week and doesn't return until April 17.
Driving the news: In a letter released Tuesday, McCarthy pressed Biden to “please have your team reach out to mine to the end of this week to set a date for our next meeting.”
- The two have not sat down together to discuss the issue since early February — nearly two months ago.
- In the letter, McCarthy signaled his continued opposition to passing a debt ceiling increase without without tying it to spending cuts in the budget.
- "House Republicans are united in our view that the best way to reduce the national debt is to [l]imit [s]pending," he wrote, "I am prepared to sit down to discuss a variety of means to do so that would achieve trillions of dollars in savings."
Yes, but: Biden has hammered McCarthy on the fact that, while the White House released its 2024 budget blueprint earlier this month, Republicans have yet to release theirs.
- House Budget Committee Chair Jodey Arrington (R-Texas) said last week McCarthy was preparing a "deal sheet" laying out proposed spending cuts.
- But McCarthy told reporters, "I don't know what he's talking about."
The other side: White House spokesperson Andrew Bates referred to a statement from Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, who said, "It’s time for Republicans to stop playing games [and] agree to a pass a clean debt ceiling bill."
- "And if they want to have a conversation about our nation’s economic and fiscal future," the statement continued, "it’s time for them to put out a budget — as the president has done."