On Tuesday (March 28), House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA.) decided to ramp up pressure on President Joe Biden to negotiate fiscal reforms in exchange for Republicans agreeing to raise the debt ceiling.
Despite McCarthy’s best efforts, Democrats are refusing to sit down with him, signaling that there could be a high-stakes standoff coming this summer.
McCarthy appears unperturbed by this, writing a letter to Biden that would lay out his broad proposal for spending proposals.
McCarthy suggested reducing nondefense discretionary spending, reinforcing work requirements for social safety net programs, recovering unspent COVID-19 relief funding, and developing policies that would reduce energy costs and secure the Southern borders stemming the flow of illicit drugs.
McCarthy also used the letter to call out Biden for risking the economy by refusing to address the U.S.’s $31 trillion deficit.
The California Republican shared his concern that Biden was risking “an already fragile economy” because he was maintaining an “extreme position” refusing to negotiate “meaningful changes to out-of-control government spending” alongside a debt limit increase.
Despite the letter to Biden, McCarthy revealed on MSNBC later on Tuesday that he was growing increasingly pessimistic about concluding a deal with the White House. The Biden administration has been steadfast in refusing McCarthy’s calls for spending cuts.
The White House has also rolled out $5 trillion in tax increases.
During an interview with MSNBC, the California Republican asserted he was more concerned than ever about concluding negotiations about the debt ceiling, claiming those concerns stemmed from Biden’s refusal “to meet with anybody and misleads the American public.”
Democrats have also explained they wouldn’t be meeting with McCarthy until he proved he had the votes to pass a fiscal reform package.