'Show me his budget!': McCarthy, Biden agree to further talks on debt
Biden expresses his eagerness to work with Republicans "in good faith" to which McCarthy responded that common ground.
After a long overdue debate about the US national debt, President Joe Biden and Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy agreed after talks on Wednesday to extend the negotiations on government borrowing limits and the debt ceiling.
According to the White House, Biden expressed to McCarthy his eagerness to work with Republicans "in good faith", to which McCarthy responded that common ground can be found, but so far no breakthrough has been reached. Reporters were told by McCarthy that a "good first meeting" was done with Biden and added that "I think at the end of the day, we can find common ground,"
In its statement, the White House said: "President Biden made clear that, as every other leader in both parties in Congress has affirmed, it is their shared duty not to allow an unprecedented and economically catastrophic default... It is not negotiable or conditional."
McCarthy displayed optimism regarding the avoidance of the US's inability to pay its bills, saying, "I believe if we're able to get to an agreement, we could have a funding agreement for the next two years," and continued that he would like to seek with Biden if an agreement can be reached before the deadline which is set for June 5.
In return, Biden said, "Show me his budget!" when asked by reporters about negotiating further with McCarthy but continued that he is open to discussing deficit reduction, "The president welcomes a separate discussion with congressional leaders about how to reduce the deficit and control the national debt while continuing to grow the economy," according to the White House.
McCarthy's ability in question
Intentions to negotiate a "responsible" debt ceiling were voiced by McCarthy on Sunday as the national debt reached nearly $31.46 trillion, as per Treasury Department data.
McCarthy said on Wednesday that he had no interest in playing "political games" with the president and that the meeting is to "negotiate for the American people." Putting the brakes on government spending has been suggested by Republican lawmakers to attain a balanced budget, in addition to federal sales tax to replace the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), but Biden confirmed he would shut down any of these measures.
The matter of government spending, which exacerbated the national debt, comes in light of the war in Ukraine and more specifically, the US's continuous military and monetary packages to Ukrainian forces. McCarthy previously stated that Ukraine will not receive a "blank check" anymore and proposed an audit. The purpose of the audit is meant to track how the funds are being delivered and exactly where - as prior suspicions point to many shipped arms ending up on the black market.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that if Congress does not address the debt limit soon, the US risks triggering a recession or a global financial crisis. If Congress fails to raise the limit, the US will automatically default on its payments, obstructing basic US government functions.