Vertiv Introduces New Single-Phase Uninterruptible Power Supply for Distributed Information Technology (IT) Networks and Edge Computing Applications in Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA)Read more Students from JA Zimbabwe Win 2023 De La Vega Global Entrepreneurship AwardRead more Top International Prospects to Travel to Salt Lake City for Seventh Annual Basketball Without Borders Global CampRead more Rise of the Robots as Saudi Arabia Underscores Global Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) Aspirations with DeepFest Debut at LEAP23Read more Somalia: ‘I sold the last three goats, they were likely to die’Read more Merck Foundation and African First Ladies marking World Cancer Day 2023 through 110 scholarships of Oncology Fellowships in 25 countriesRead more Supporting women leaders and aspirants to unleash their potentialRead more Fake medicines kill almost 500,000 sub-Saharan Africans a year: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reportRead more Climate crisis and migration: Greta Thunberg supports International Organization for Migration (IOM) over ‘life and death’ issueRead more United Nations (UN) Convenes Lake Chad Countries, Amid Growing Regional CrisisRead more

Top Republican to meet Biden on avoiding US debt default

show caption
US Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy said he will meet with President Joe Biden on February 1, 2013 for talks on averting a national debt default, but the top Republican stressed that finding ways to cut spending would be a priority./AFP
Print Friendly and PDF

Jan 30, 2023 - 01:26 AM

WASHINGTON — Top Republican Kevin McCarthy said he would meet Wednesday with Joe Biden to discuss avoiding a US debt default, but warned the president must rethink his refusal to consider spending cuts in exchange for raising the borrowing limit.

“I want to find a reasonable and a responsible way that we can lift the debt ceiling,” while controlling what he called “runaway spending” by Congress, McCarthy told CBS Sunday show “Face the Nation.”

The talks will be McCarthy’s first with the president since he became speaker of the House of Representatives this month after Republicans won control of the chamber.

The raising of the national debt limit — which allows the government to pay for spending already incurred — is often routine.

But members of the new House Republican majority have threatened to block the usual rubber-stamping of that increase above the current $31.4 trillion.

And Biden has said he will not negotiate over the matter.

Raising the debt ceiling “is an obligation of this country and its leaders to avoid economic chaos,” White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said recently. “Congress has always done it, and the president expects them to do their duty once again.”

“That is not negotiable.”

Crisis warning 

That sets the stage for a high-stakes clash in the weeks or months ahead.

A US debt default could trigger a “global financial crisis,” sending borrowing costs up and undermining the role of the dollar as an international reserve currency, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned.

To provide time for the two parties to find a solution and avoid a default, the Treasury Department on January 19 began taking “extraordinary measures” to help temporarily reduce the amount of outstanding debt subject to the limit.

Absent an agreement, Yellen said, default could come as early as June.

But while McCarthy expressed confidence “there will not be a default,” he argued Democrats were guilty of historically high spending levels during the first two years of the Biden administration.

“We can’t continue down this path,” he said on CBS.

‘Give us an option’ 

A Democratic congressman, Adam Smith of Washington state, pushed back, saying Republicans had failed to clarify where exactly they would cut spending.

“Right now, Republicans don’t have a plan,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.”

“Their plan, as led by the extremists in their party, is to complain about spending, not raise the debt ceiling but not actually offer a plan that says, ‘This is where we’re going to cut.'”

He added: “Give us an option and then we can argue about that.”

But McCarthy voiced optimism that a deal can be reached to avert default.

“I want to sit down together (with Biden), work out an agreement that we can move forward to put us on a path to balance,” the speaker said.

He added: “I think the president will be willing to make an agreement together.”

Jean-Pierre has said the meeting Wednesday would also cover the president’s plan to cut the US budget deficit “by making the wealthy and big corporations pay their fair share,” rather than, as some Republicans propose, cutting politically sensitive social spending.

MAORANDCITIES.COM uses both Facebook and Disqus comment systems to make it easier for you to contribute. We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles and blog posts. All comments should be relevant to the topic. By posting, you agree to our Privacy Policy. We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, name-calling, foul language or other inappropriate behavior. Please keep your comments relevant and respectful. By leaving the ‘Post to Facebook’ box selected – when using Facebook comment system – your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below. If you encounter a comment that is abusive, click the “X” in the upper right corner of the Facebook comment box to report spam or abuse. You can also email us.