President Biden and congressional leaders postponed a second meeting on Thursday on the debt limit crisis, giving officials more time to consider a budget deal before the two sides meet again.
Those familiar with the decision see the move as a positive development. White House officials and congressional aides have been in preliminary budget talks for two days, with both sides trying to find a way to reach a deal on raising the government debt ceiling and avoiding a default.
Biden and four top congressional leaders, including Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, initially failed to reach a deal in their first face-to-face talks on Tuesday, but had planned to meet again on Friday. Another meeting is scheduled next week before Biden leaves for Japan to attend the G7 summit.
The delay seems to suggest that progress is being made at a crucial moment. So far, both countries have appeared to be digging their own positions on what it takes to raise the debt ceiling, the maximum amount the US can borrow. That $31.4 trillion cap was hit on Jan. 19, and the Treasury Department is playing an accounting game to keep paying the US bills without breaching the debt ceiling.
Mr McCarthy has argued for significant spending cuts and the withdrawal of Mr Biden’s clean energy policies as a prerequisite to raising the debt ceiling. Biden has argued that the Republican Party should raise the borrowing limit, which would simply allow the United States to pay bills already approved by Congress.
House Republicans who have pressed the White House and Senate Democrats to negotiate Thursday expressed optimism that a deal could be reached by June 1 as talks begin on spending limits and other proposals. Said it was spurring.
“The past 48 hours have given us even more reason to be hopeful,” said Rep. Dusty Johnson, a South Dakota Republican and leader of the Main Street caucuses, an influential group of mainstream conservatives. I got it,” he said.
Still, McCarthy downplayed the negotiating session, saying the pace of negotiations wasn’t fast enough as the June 1 deadline for a possible default loomed.
“We have a short time left,” McCarthy told reporters on Thursday. “If this was a staff meeting on February 1st, I would say it was productive. I think I finally felt the pressure that I couldn’t take for days.”
Following Tuesday’s White House meeting, representatives of the Biden administration and congressional leaders met in a closed-door meeting at the Capitol to discuss potential spending and policy agreements.
Congressional officials said it made sense to postpone the high-level meeting because Mr. Biden and congressional leaders had little new discussion immediately after their last meeting. Among the concerns was that another meeting would be held with little progress on the report, raising questions about the United States’ ability to prevent an economically devastating default.
The two sides have continued talks this week, with several broad areas of negotiation emerging, including a fixed cap on federal spending and the recovery of unused funds, according to people familiar with the talks, which lasted about two hours each on Wednesday and Thursday. said he did. designated as a new coronavirus emergency, Tighter labor requirements for federal benefits and faster energy project licensing rules.
The negotiations between the Biden administration and congressional officials, announced by Mr. Biden and Mr. McCarthy after their first meeting at the White House on Tuesday, set new ground in the debate over raising the debt ceiling. The talks are effectively an early version of the annual budget talks that typically heat up at the end of summer. Given that Mr. Biden has promised not to negotiate a higher debt ceiling, administration officials have gone out of their way to explain that it is business as usual.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Thursday that the meeting was “a normal order.” “It’s been done every year to talk about spending.”
But the timing of the talks, and the fact that, if they reach an agreement, would almost certainly be included in a bipartisan bill that would raise the debt ceiling ahead of a possible default next month, Mr. It is suggested that they are negotiating about Despite claiming that the two issues are separate.
The White House is sending officials from the Office of Management and Budget and the National Economic Council to the meeting, and the offices of the two top congressional leaders, Democrats and Republicans, are assistants experienced in fiscal policy and large spending pact cuts. dispatching officers.
First, administration officials have rejected any deal with McCarthy that would roll back Biden’s signature legislative achievements, particularly on climate change. They are calling for Republicans to remove key provisions from the debt-saving bill that passed the House last month, including the elimination of most of Mr. Biden’s new tax incentives for clean energy.
On the narrower issue of discretionary spending levels, administration officials are calling for cuts that are much smaller than those approved by Republicans last month. They want a short-term cap rather than the 10-year spending cap of the Republican bill. And they want that cap to be based on a higher spending level than Republicans, the amount of this year’s federal funding bill that Mr. Biden signed into law in December. The Republican plan caps spending growth from fiscal 2022.
White House negotiators also want to remove from consideration funding the Internal Revenue Service to crack down on tax fraud and Republican efforts to reduce labor requirements for Medicaid and food stamp recipients. there is
The duration of the debt ceiling hike is also on the fine line, with the White House pushing for a higher hike than Republicans are proposing. The two sides could agree to raise the cap for a limited period of a few months, aiming to end budget negotiations. But Biden’s aides want to avoid such a short-term solution and don’t want a whole new round of negotiations next year. As a result, signing a larger budget deal will likely require raising the cap on borrowing needs after the next presidential election, rather than until early next year as the Republican bill did.
Republicans acknowledge that the White House has set a number of red lines, but say the president will need to bend in several areas to reach a deal.
“None of us, nobody in this room, thinks Joe Biden gets everything he wants in this deal,” Johnson said. “So, by definition, he has to accept a lot of things that he claims he refuses to accept.”
“We are not going to negotiate with ourselves,” said Louisiana Republican Rep. Garrett Graves, who has led Republicans in the debt ceiling battle on behalf of Mr. McCarthy. “We expect to see significant savings going forward.”
Biden administration officials also agree with Republicans to accelerate approvals for a wide range of energy projects, including wind, oil, gas and solar, a top priority for West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin III. positive.
A final deal would require approval from both Biden, McCarthy, and Senate Democrats, but the majority of far-right conservatives who voted for raising the House debt ceiling said they would. Partisan approval is likely to be required. I will not support anything other than what the House has passed.
Officials also hope the final deal will be approved by business groups, increasing pressure on Republicans. These concerns prompted U.S. Chamber of Commerce officials this month to Outline potential paths Debt Limitation Agreement reached.
Leave a Reply