House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Monday reiterated his call for President Joe Biden to negotiate with Republican lawmakers over potential spending cuts in exchange for raising the U.S. debt limit.
McCarthy’s remarks came as Biden is expected to continue asserting in his State of the Union speech on Tuesday night that he won’t negotiate over raising the ceiling for federal borrowing with House Republicans who are demanding cuts.
“Mr. President, it’s time to get to work,” the California Republican said in a brief speech.
McCarthy also said Washington leaders “must commit to finding common ground on a responsible debt-limit increase.”
“We must move towards a balanced budget and insist on genuine accountability for every dollar we spend,” he also said.
Last week, McCarthy said he was optimistic about finding “common ground” with Biden over the U.S. debt ceiling following a White House meeting, but refused to discuss specific budget cuts he is seeking in exchange for raising the borrowing limit.
The standoff of the debt limit threatens to shake markets
later this year, if a divided Washington can’t make a deal and prevent a U.S. default.
Ahead of McCarthy’s remarks, White House spokesman Andrew Bates said in a statement that House Republicans “are threatening to actively throw our economy into a tailspin with a default — which they have a non-negotiable, Constitutional duty to prevent — unless they can further cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.”
McCarthy said during his speech on Monday that reductions to Social Security and Medicare were off the table in any debt-limit talks.
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