(CNN) House Majority Whip Tom Emmer said on Sunday that President Joe Biden has “no need to negotiate” on the debt ceiling, saying: “House Republicans, led by Kevin McCarthy, have embraced the solution.
House Republicans last week narrowly passed their bill to raise the country’s $31.4 trillion debt limit by an additional $1.5 trillion. But the measure faces near impossible odds of passing the Democratic-led Senate. Eimer disagreed with this view in an interview with CNN’s Dana Bach on “State of the Union”.
“To say she died on her way to the Senate, when even Joe Manchin is offering to support that kind of approach, I think that’s not entirely accurate,” said the Minnesota Republican. “If you don’t like something there, if you have your own ideas, our speaker is more than willing, I am sure, to listen to those ideas.”
The House Republican measure was intended to bolster Republicans’ efforts to negotiate with Democrats as the default country deadline approaches as soon as this summer. But the White House said it would not negotiate an increase in the debt ceiling and would only accept a clean proposal to increase the country’s borrowing limit.
After the GOP bill passed, Biden told reporters Wednesday that he would be “happy to meet with McCarthy, but not to see if the debt limit is extended. It’s not negotiable.”
Separately on Sunday, House Majority Leader Steve Scales said Biden should come to the table to negotiate with Republicans on spending and debt reduction.
The White House must finally enter into these negotiations. The Louisiana Republican said on ABC’s “This Week” that the president has been in hiding for two months.
This is not acceptable to Americans. They expect the President to sit in a room with President McCarthy and begin negotiating.
The US reached its debt ceiling in January. It cannot continue to borrow to meet its obligations unless Congress removes or suspends it. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in January that the Treasury is avoiding a default — which would happen this summer or early fall — by using available liquidity and “extraordinary actions,” which are expected to continue at least through early June.
Moody’s Analytics has warned that a breach of the US debt ceiling could lead to a 2008-style economic catastrophe that would wipe out millions of jobs and set America back.
When asked by Bash if he could guarantee that the United States government would not default on its debt, Emmer said, “I can, assuming our president and Senate (Chuck) Schumer understand the seriousness of the problem. It’s not about politics anymore.”
He added, “The Republicans in the House of Representatives will not allow America to default on its debt.” “We showed it last week.”
Eimer also objected to describing some provisions of the GOP Spending Cuts Act as “cuts”.
These are spending reforms. And all we’re doing is going back to the Biden-Pelosi budget from last year,” he said, referring to former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The debt ceiling bill, dubbed the Cuts, Save and Expand Act, proposes deep cuts to national programs but would save the Pentagon budget. It would restore funding for federal agencies to 2022 levels while aiming to limit spending growth to 1% annually. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said the bill would reduce the government deficit by $4.8 trillion over 10 years.
As part of the 320-page bill, the GOP also proposes blocking Biden’s plan to grant student loan forgiveness, cancel green energy tax credits, and kill new government funding. The plan would also accelerate new oil exploration projects while eliminating funding earmarked for the response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Jack Forrest, Aileen Greif, Alaina Train, Melanie Zanona, Kristin Wilson, Lauren Fox, Manu Raju and Haley Talbot contributed to this report.