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GOP debt limit negotiator says there’s no chance they’ll give up work requirements for benefits

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On Friday, Chief GOP Negotiator Garret Graves said “no” when asked if Republicans could possibly give in to their demands for tougher work requirements to receive welfare benefits under a debt ceiling agreement.

‘Surely not. Surely not. Not a chance that’s not happening,’ the Louisiana Republican told reporters, stubbornly insisting on a demand that many Democratic caucus members say they will oppose at all costs.

“Democrats are currently prepared to default on debt so they can continue to pay welfare benefits to people who refuse to work,” he said.

“We continue to have major issues that we haven’t closed the gap on,” the negotiator said as he got into a car and drove to the White House — not for debt talks, but to celebrate the Louisiana State University women’s basketball team with President Biden. .

He said he would return to the Capitol after the celebration to re-immerse himself in the debt talks.

On Friday, Chief GOP Negotiator Garret Graves said ‘no’ when asked if Republicans could possibly give in to their demands for tougher welfare work requirements.

Patrick McHenry, another chief negotiator, told reporters as he walked into the president’s office that no in-person meeting was scheduled between House GOP negotiators and White House negotiators Steve Ricchetti and Shalanda Young on Friday.

Graves, along with Rep. Patrick McHenry, RN.C., led President McCarthy's debt negotiations with the White House

Graves, along with Rep. Patrick McHenry, RN.C., led President McCarthy’s debt negotiations with the White House

Graves had said a day earlier that the White House “refused to negotiate” on work demands.

Both the Progressive Caucus and the Congressional Black Caucus have issued warnings to President Biden not to back down on tougher work requirements for programs like SNAP and TANF with Medicaid.

The debt limit and spending cuts bill passed by Republicans last month, the Limit Save Grow Act, increased work requirements to 20 hours per week for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP – also known as food stamps) for people between the ages of 50 and 56. The current program only provides such requirements for people between the ages of 18 and 49, who are able-bodied and have no dependents.

It would also limit the number of exemptions that states could grant from the requirements.

On SNAP, the Republican proposal would save $11 billion over 10 years.

Creating new work requirements for Medicaid would create the most savings on GOP work proposals, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office — $109 billion over the next decade — though that’s the program which the White House is most opposed to imposing work requirements. .

Meanwhile, Chairman Kevin McCarthy faces pressure from the right flank of his caucus.

He insisted to reporters on Friday that he was ‘not at all’ concerned about warnings from Conservative members of his caucus because they ‘don’t know what’s in the deal’ .

Earlier this week, 35 members of the House Freedom Caucus circulated a letter to the GOP conference calling on McCarthy to “hold the line” in talks with the White House and not water down the Limit Save Grow Act.

This bill would increase the debt ceiling by $1.5 trillion in exchange for saving $4.5 trillion by capping spending at fiscal year 2022 levels in 2024. It will also limit growth to 1% per year for 10 years.

“You’re talking to people who don’t know what’s going on. So I’m not concerned about anyone commenting right now on what they think they are or aren’t,’ McCarthy said when asked about opposition grumbling in his conference.

“If you’re wondering about keeping the line, where we’ve been all the time, we don’t want to be in that timeframe. We wanted to fix that months ago.

McCarthy said he believed “progress” had been made in the debt talks overnight, although both sides remained clung to the biggest part: spending levels.

“I thought we made some progress last night. We need to make more progress now,’ McCarthy told reporters on his way to the Capitol.

He said he met his top negotiating assistant, Rep. Garret Graves, for a morning bike ride.

“It’s about spending. Democrats never want to stop,” McCarthy said.

In 2011, the country was in a similar crisis under former President Barack Obama who also faced a Republican House opposed to raising the ceiling.

As the cap was raised, the threat of default was enough to send US financial markets into turmoil and the country’s rating was downgraded from AAA to AA+ as a result.

Chairman Kevin McCarthy said he believes

Chairman Kevin McCarthy said he believed “progress” had been made in the debt talks overnight, although both sides remained clung to the biggest part: spending levels

Graves and McHenry were seen entering the president’s office again mid-morning on Friday.

The two sides have still not reached an agreement on a higher figure to increase the country’s borrowing limit.

President Biden is visiting Camp David on Friday before planning to spend the weekend at his home in Delaware. The White House insists he can negotiate from anywhere over the phone.

“We are here night after night after night. The pressure is greater, the consequences are greater. We recognize it. The White House should recognize that,’ said McHenry, North Carolina.

Journalists huddle around the speaker desperately for updates on the impending deal that could avert a catastrophic default

Journalists huddle around the speaker desperately for updates on the impending deal that could avert a catastrophic default

Bloomberg reports that the two sides are closing in on a deal that would raise the debt ceiling for two years and limit spending for the same amount of time — and the deal would claw back $10 billion of the $80 billion increase in the debt. IRS funding that Democrats passed in the last Congress.

But a source familiar with the talks told DailyMail.com that the two sides have not agreed on a turnover and have not agreed on whether to extend the loan. one or two years. Republicans only want a year, Democrats want to push the extension until the next election.

The two sides will also hang up on defense spending on Friday. Republicans wanted a big increase in the defense budget, even though they wanted to cut overall spending, while Democrats wanted spending cuts. The two sides could agree on a small increase – in line with President Biden’s $886.3 billion budget request.

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