McCarthy Plans Meeting With Biden To Discuss Debt Ceiling

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Republican House Leader Kevin McCarthy is slated to meet with President Joe Biden on Feb. 9 to discuss the debt ceiling, according to Punchbowl News.

McCarthy wants a debt-limit deal, but has not provided much detail as to what that would entail. House Republicans have also been vague, insisting on spending cuts without specifying which programs should be slashed.

House Democrats have steadfastly held the position that there should be no spending cuts, especially to Social Security or Medicaid.

McCarthy will not attempt to go after entitlement spending despite calls from some Republicans to do so, according to reports. Republicans are divided over whether to demand entitlement cuts, with some prominent figures such as former President Donald Trump advising Republicans to leave them alone.

McCarthy also reportedly will not agree to new taxes for the purpose of raising revenues. Therefore, negotiations between the speaker and Biden could focus more on placing current spending on what McCarthy’s team calls a “sustainable trajectory,” according to Punchbowl.

The meeting marks a significant shift for President Biden, who initially refused to hold any debt ceiling negotiations with Republican leadership. Democrats fear that failing to reach an agreement to raise the debt ceiling could hurt the economy, the outlet reported.

According to Punchbowl, the McCarthy hopes to get a budget deal in exchange for raising the debt ceiling. The report claims that Republicans would like a deal that would restrict 2024 discretionary spending to 2022 levels. This could force the government to cut $75 billion billions in defense spending, a possibility that has divided conservatives, Axios reported.