Biden and McCarthy Square Off Over the Debt Ceiling

Photo: The Hill (Fair Use)

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) called on Democrats to begin talks immediately on raising the debt ceiling, a critical requirement that Republicans plan to use as leverage in their effort to slash federal spending. “I would like to sit down with all the leaders and especially the president and start having discussions,” McCarthy said Tuesday at the Capitol.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned last week that the federal government would run up against the federal debt ceiling on this Thursday, forcing the Treasury to start taking “extraordinary measures” that would provide liquidity roughly through June. McCarthy said he wants to start talks before the cash crunch gets too close. “Who wants to put the nation through some type of threat at the last minute with the debt ceiling? Nobody wants to do that,” he said.

The White House, however, made it clear that President Joe Biden – who called Republicans “fiscally demented” in comments over the weekend — has no plans to negotiate on the issue, and is demanding instead a clean vote to raise the debt limit.