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McCarthy says Biden is tanking debt talks by cozying up to far-left ideologues

 May 22, 2023

On Sunday, U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy asserted that President Joe Biden has capitulated to extreme progressives in the Democratic party regarding the ongoing debt ceiling negotiations.

McCarthy's statement came in response to Biden's recent remarks, denying blame for any failure in these talks and pointing fingers at the Republican side.

According to McCarthy, the president's recent trip to the G-7 summit in Japan has proven a pivotal moment in the debt debate, an unexpected development considering Biden's commentary on the subject during his Hiroshima visit. The speaker expressed surprise and dismay at this sudden shift in rhetoric from the president, the Daily Mail reported. 

"Now, the president, even though he was overseas, thought to change places… I don't understand that. For 97 days, he ignored me. We were in a good place. He goes overseas, and now he wants to change the debate," McCarthy said.

Biden Accuses Republicans of Undermining Debt Talks

The president, in his remarks on Sunday, leveled accusations against the Republicans, particularly those he believed were affiliated with the "MAGA" movement. Biden accused them of both scuttling the discussions around the debt ceiling and attempting to sabotage his potential re-election bid.

In his speech, Biden said, "On the merits, based on what I've offered, I would be blameless. On the politics of it, no one would be blameless. And by the way, that's one of the things some people are contemplating. Well, I gotta be careful here."

Biden further stated, "I think there are some MAGA Republicans in the House who know the damage that it would do to the economy, and because I am president, and presidents are responsible for everything, Biden would take the blame. And that's the one way to make sure Biden's not re-elected."

McCarthy Strikes Back

Reacting to Biden's words, the Republican House speaker argued that the president appears to have altered his approach after the more left-leaning party members pressed for increased spending. McCarthy strongly asserted that Biden's stance seemed to veer more towards defaulting than towards a mutual agreement.

"He's now bringing something to the table that everyone said was off the table. It seems as though he wants to default more than he wants a deal. That's not where I'm at, and the one thing you know… about me, Maria Bartiromo, I will never give up, " McCarthy said in an interview with Fox News

McCarthy's Optimistic Standpoint

Despite the heated exchange of words, McCarthy expressed the belief that a satisfactory resolution was still attainable. He emphasized the need to rein in inflation, reduce reliance on China, and focus on American issues with American solutions. Last week in an interview with CNBC, McCarthy said, “I think at the end of the day, we do not have a debt default.”

However, some Democrats are reportedly urging President Biden to invoke the 14th Amendment. This action could bypass the necessity for congressional negotiations, potentially reducing the necessity for bargaining with Republican opponents.

The Legal Skepticism Over 14th Amendment Invocation

The 14th Amendment reads: "The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned."

The practical legality of invoking this Amendment to single-handedly raise the debt ceiling is still a topic of debate among legal experts. Many have expressed skepticism over Biden's authority to undertake such an action.

During his speech in Japan, Biden acknowledged these concerns, stating that he would let the appeals process make the final decision on the matter.

The Real Issue at Hand: Spending, Says McCarthy

McCarthy, however, emphasized a different point of contention, pointing out the fiscal challenges the U.S. is facing. He stated that the country is currently generating more revenue than ever, but the issue's crux lies in increased spending.

"The real challenge is our spending. Our spending, on average, for the last 50 years has been about 21%. Well, in FY 22, after the Democrats have taken over, we're roughly over 24% of GDP, so it's a sheer spending problem," the speaker said.

Resume Talks on Debt Ceiling

Amid this intense exchange, the leaders of both parties are seeking common ground. As reported by Reuters, President Joe Biden and Speaker McCarthy have scheduled a meeting on Monday to further their discussions on the debt ceiling. This comes after both leaders had a productive phone call on Sunday as the president was returning to Washington from Japan.