David Lauder reports
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said on Sunday he will meet with President Joe Biden on Wednesday to discuss Raise the federal debt ceiling while reining in government spending, adding that Republicans will not allow the U.S. to default.
McCarthy told CBS’ “Face the Nation” that cuts to Social Security and Medicare would be “out of the way” in any debt-ceiling negotiations.
But he added that Republicans want to “strengthen” expensive retirement and health benefit programs for seniors – a statement the White House called a euphemism for cuts.
“I know the president said he doesn’t want to have any discussion of spending cuts,” McCarthy said. “I want to find a reasonable and responsible way to raise the debt ceiling (and) rein in this runaway spending.”
The U.S. Treasury this month launched unconventional cash management measures to Avoid violating the $31.4 trillion dollar cap set by Congress on the federal debt. But there was no increase until early June, with the Treasury Department saying it may be running out of cash to pay the government’s bills, triggering the biggest threat of default since the debt-ceiling standoff.
“There will be no default,” McCarthy said, without elaborating. “But what’s really irresponsible is what the Democrats are doing now, saying you should raise the limit.”
A White House official familiar with the plans for the meeting — which Biden had previously promised to hold — confirmed it would Held on Wednesday. The White House has said it will not negotiate an increase in the debt ceiling.
Biden administration officials see the planned meeting with McCarthy as an opportunity to develop a “working relationship” between the two leaders.
McCarthy and other Republicans in the House and Senate said they would not support raising the debt ceiling without budget cuts or spending reforms.
McCarthy did not provide details on specific requirements, but ruled out immediate cuts to Social Security and Medicare, including increases in entitlements. retirement age.
White House spokesman Andrew Bates said McCarthy’s pledge to strengthen the program would lead to cuts.
“For years, Congressional Republicans have advocated using the Washington code word “step up” as their policies privatized Medicare and society to cut earned benefit security, raise retirement ages, or cut benefits,” Bates said in a statement.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives agreed to make it easier for his party to oust him over policy differences, saying he would focus on discretionary spending, which has risen sharply over the past two years Today, infrastructure and semiconductor legislation passed with bipartisan support, and the green energy bill was passed by Democrats.
We shouldn’t just print more money, we should balance our budget. So I want to look at each sector. Where can we become more efficient, effective, and accountable? “
He said he would also look at defense spending to eliminate waste.
When asked if he would support reducing debt to When the cap was briefly extended until September, McCarthy said: “I don’t want to sit here negotiating because some lawmakers are proposing to buy time for the spending bill to pass. I’d rather sit down with the president and discuss these issues. “