WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Despite a looming economic catastrophe, Democrats and Republicans are making little progress toward raising the debt ceiling.
One day after an Oval Office meeting with congressional leaders Wednesday, Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer blamed Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, R-CA, for failed talks.
“Speaker McCarthy is taking default hostage,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY. “Mr. Speaker, you’re standing alone.”
But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he is standing with McCarthy and is one of 43 Senate Republicans backing demands to cut spending before approving more debt.
“The people voted for divided government. President Biden refused to compromise,” said Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-KY.
President Biden said while he’s willing to negotiate reasonable ways to reduce the deficit, he rejects McCarthy’s ultimatum.
“We shouldn’t even be talking about it. In fact, under the previous president, Republicans voted to avoid default three times. This is not your father’s Republican party, though,” said Biden.
White House and congressional staffers are now being tasked with finding a way forward. With just a handful of working days left before hitting the June 1 deadline, Speaker McCarthy said it’s time for the White House to get serious.
“The only thing we’re asking is that next year that we next year we spend the same amount of money that we spent five months ago,” McCarthy said.
McCarthy said that begins by recouping unspent COVID-19 funds.
Congressional leaders are set to meet with the president again Friday.