The White House and President Kevin McCarthy called on Tuesday to drop debt ceiling talks – eight days before a potential default with no deal in sight.
White House negotiators Steve Ricchetti and Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young spent two hours on Capitol Hill before leaving around 1:30 p.m.
And as the White House faces mounting pressure to invoke the 14th Amendment, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has thrown cold water on the idea.
“It’s not going to solve the current problem that we have right now,” she told reporters.
Rep. James Clyburn, a former Democratic whip and close Biden ally, said on MSNBC on Tuesday:
“The 14th Amendment is still here, and as President of the United States, [Biden] has some authority to use it.
The White House and President Kevin McCarthy called on Tuesday to drop debt ceiling talks – eight days before a potential default with no deal in sight
His pointed suggestion comes after a growing number of Democrats in the House and Senate are urging Biden to drop all negotiations and invoke the 14th Amendment, which says, in part, that the “validity” of public debt “shall not not be questioned.’
“I don’t think we’ll get one today,” McCarthy told reporters of a deal to raise the country’s borrowing limit.
Meanwhile, left and right are deepening their demands and urging leaders not to negotiate.
“I think there would be a huge Democratic backlash within our caucus, certainly with progressives, but also, on the streets,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., Progressive Caucus Chair, said of of President Biden potentially accepting spending cuts or work requirements for welfare programs.
“It’s important that we don’t step back from the very strong program that the president himself has led.”
Rep. Garret Graves, R-La., the House GOP’s chief negotiator, said of Jayapal’s remarks: ‘I’ve never met a person in my life who says government works efficiently and we can’t not find ways to cut funding. I’ve never done it, so I don’t know which streets she’s talking about, but it’s fascinating.
“There’s a big gap between where we are and where they are financially,” Rep. Garret Graves told reporters Tuesday night.
Another dealmaker – Financial Services Chairman Patrick McHenry, right, said he was confident in Yellen’s prediction that June 1 is the X date the nation risks running out of funds to pay its bills .
On the right, the House Freedom Caucus has urged McCarthy not to agree to a less conservative deal than the House-passed debt ceiling bill, the Limit Save Grow Act.
“The bill we passed is a good bill. I think we should actually go further,’ rep Chip Roy said on CBS.
“What we’ll take is what we’ve passed,” Rep. Scott Perry, chairman of the Freedom Caucus, told reporters.
Other far-right members of the GOP conference have expressed doubts that the Treasury Sec. Janet Yellen’s warning that the nation could default as early as June 1 is accurate.
Another trader – Financial Services President Patrick McHenry – said he had faith in Yellen’s prediction.
“She is in charge of cash management. There is a whole bureaucracy within the Treasury. They don’t play games,” he said. “She’s a direct shooter.”
Negotiators are desperate to find a maximum level of spending.
Democrats have offered to hold spending levels at 2023 levels in exchange for a two-year increase in the debt ceiling. They insist that this equates to a reduction in spending since 2023 levels will not be adjusted for inflation in 2024, which is essentially a 5% reduction.
Republicans want spending levels maintained at 2022 levels, but insist that in any case they must be lower than they are now.
The difference is about $130 billion.
Negotiators also need to debate how long a 1% spending cap will last in the future. Republicans had wanted to cap spending growth at 1% for 10 years, but the White House offered one year. The Republicans reduced their offer to six years.
“There’s a big gap between where we are and where they are financially,” Graves told reporters Tuesday night.
Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has eased default fears in his home state of Kentucky.
“Listen, I think everyone needs to relax,” he said.
Of the back-and-forth confusion over whether progress has even been made, he said: “It’s not that unusual.”
But time is running out — the House is expected to be on vacation next week, June 1 is eight days away, and the GOP leadership still plans to give rank-and-file members three days to read the bill they are proposing.
Republicans still insist that work requirements for programs like SNAP, TANF and Medicaid be included in a final package. Democrats are very reluctant to take benefits away from anyone.
Graves, however, insists the problem is that Biden’s aides – Biden aide Steve Ricchetti and Office of Management and Budget director Shalanda Young – don’t know what budget cuts they are authorized to accept. .
Graves likened negotiations to “someone buying a used car.” The White House negotiators will say, “Well, I have to go talk to my manager.” Oh sorry. The manager won’t lower the price, but he will add car mats.”
“I feel like we’ve been through a few of those iterations, which is inappropriate. We need to be able to have empowered negotiators in the room and I think that would be helpful.