Republicans raise concerns over national debt while President Biden rejects cuts
Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) rejected President Joe Biden’s demand that Congress increase the nation’s debt ceiling without attaching any conditions such as the spending cuts that virtually all congressional Republicans are demanding.
In an informal news conference with reporters just outside the Capitol, McCarthy said “we’re six months away, approximately, and what I would like to do is sit down with all the leaders, especially the President, and start having the discussion.”
The Speaker said Biden’s refusal to discuss anything other than a “clean” increase in the debt ceiling, which limits federal borrowing, is “a sign of arrogance that he would say he wouldn’t even discuss it. I mean think about what the Democrats have done just in four years, they’ve increased discretionary spending by 30 percent. When Republicans were in control for eight years, discretionary spending didn’t go up one dollar.”
Noting the national debt is nearly $32 trillion, McCarthy asked “why would you do this to any future generation in anything we do? Why wouldn’t you sit down and talk, especially with something as serious as a debt limit; why would you want to wait until the end? Who wants to put the nation through some type of threat at the last minute with the debt ceiling? Nobody wants to do that.”
McCarthy added that “any household that was mis-spending, the first thing they would do is sit down and set a budget. Why wouldn’t we request the House and Senate to do a budget … why wouldn’t we now set a budget, set a path that will get us to a balanced budget? And let’s start paying this debt off and make sure future generations have as many opportunities as we do.”
Medicare, Social Security and the military would not be subject to spending cuts, according to McCarthy, who said Biden’s demand for a debt ceiling increase without strings is “off the table.”