House Speaker Kevin McCarthy urged the White House in a letter sent Tuesday to start more robust negotiations over raising the nation’s borrowing limit, the first major action in weeks on either side of the debt ceiling issue.
McCarthy writes “with each passing day, I am incredibly concerned that you are putting an already fragile economy in jeopardy by insisting upon your extreme position of refusing to negotiate any meaningful changes to out of control government spending.”
McCarthy also proposed a series of places to start saving money including reclaiming unspent Covid-19 relief funds and strengthening work requirements for social programs.
McCarthy, shortly after the letter went out, criticized Biden for refusing to sit down with him.
“I’m concerned more than I’ve ever been about getting this debt ceiling done,” the California Republican said on CNBC, due to the lack of conversations and negotiations.
The White House said they do not want to continue negotiations until Republicans are ready to offer a counter proposal to the White House’s budget request, which the Biden administration unveiled earlier this month.
In a statement, the White House said, “It’s time for Republicans to stop playing games, agree to a pass a clean debt ceiling bill, and quit threatening to wreak havoc on our economy. And if they want to have a conversation about our nation’s economic and fiscal future, it’s time for them to put out a Budget – as the President has done with his detailed plan to grow the economy, lower costs, and reduce the deficit by nearly $3 trillion.”
Republicans have yet to release their plan, as they continue struggle to find an agreement between the different factions in their narrowly divided majority.
However, McCarthy told CNBC that House Republicans are prepared to lay out $4 trillion in cuts in his next meeting with Biden.
“If the president would have a meeting I would have all the $4 trillion sitting there and provided to you … the difference, is he wants to play politics and I do not. I think we should be adults here,” he said.