Biden Will Meet With Speaker

( – President Joe Biden is not budging on his refusal to discuss raising the U.S. debt ceiling with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, though the president did say that he is willing to meet the opposition leader.

McCarthy and other Republicans, as well as Senate Democrat Joe Manchin, have chided Biden for refusing to meet with McCarthy. Manchin called it a “failure of leadership” on the President’s part.

Biden’s refusal prompted McCarthy to introduce a bill that would raise the U.S. debt limit by $1.5 trillion with the condition that discretionary federal government spending stays at 2022 levels. That bill passed on April 26th. 

The vote for the bill was a narrow 217-215 vote. All Democrats voted against the bill, but four Republicans did as well: Andy Biggs of Arizona; Tim Burchett of Tennessee; Ken Buck of Colorado; and Matt Gaetz of Florida.

On April 26th, Biden said that he would, in fact, meet with McCarthy, but he refused to talk about the borrowing limit. “That’s not negotiable,” Biden said.

The president then made an unclear statement about former presidents Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump approving of raising the debt ceiling.

Biden has said he will veto McCarthy’s bill. The Democratic party has demanded a debt ceiling increase without any restrictions on government spending, something Republicans are almost certain to reject.

White House spokeswoman Robyn Patterson characterized McCarthy’s “Limit, Save, Grow Act” as not only misguided but dangerous. She said it was “an attack” on the manufacturing sector, police,  and on American families. Patterson said the measure would make it easier for rich people and corporations to “cheat on” taxes, which would then fall on the backs of people with less income.

McCarthy’s bill just squeaked by, with four Republicans voting against it. There is little chance the Democratic-controlled Senate will take up the measure. And, even if that happens, Biden has promised a veto. 

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