House Speaker Kevin McCarthy told Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) that Republcans would not make cuts to social security or Medicare to offset the debt ceiling during a meeting on Tuesday, according to Punch Bowl News co-founder Jake Sherman.
Sherman noted in a tweet that Manchin also “hopes” President Joe Biden will negotiate with Republicans, who want spending cuts in exchange for their help raising the debt ceiling.
Manchin also said he hopes Biden will negotiate over the debt limit. https://t.co/cObUzQsTAe
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) January 25, 2023
A source familiar with their conversation said it was positive but added “commitments” were not established, the Hill’s Alexander Bolton reported.
Last week Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen announced that the United States had hit its 31.3 trillion debt limit and predicted the Treasury Department could use “extraordinary measures” until June to keep the government from defaulting on its debt. President Joe Biden does not intend to negotiate with Republicans on spending cuts, and White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has stated several times that the president believes the ceiling should be addressed “without conditions.”
However, while speaking to mayors from across the country at the White House last week, Biden did admit that politicians in Washington, DC, “need to focus on making sure we do not accumulate more debt” and floated the idea of tax hikes while also attempting to drum up the narrative that Republicans were looking to make cuts to social security and medicare.
Manchin’s comments Tuesday echoed his statements from an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union over the weekend, in which he called Biden’s refusal to negotiate a “mistake.”
I think it’s a mistake because we have to negotiate. This is a democracy that we have. We have a two party system, if you will, and we should be able to talk and find out where our differences are, and if they’re irreconcilable, then you have to move on from there and let the people make their decisions. Using the debt ceiling and holding it hostage hasn’t worked in the past, and anyone wants to look at what happened in 2011, ’13, then go ahead. It didn’t work out well.
Manchin predicted that there would be no social security cuts to anyone already receiving benefits and asserted that “everyone’s using that as a leverage,” as CNN’s Daniella Diaz and Paul LeBlanc reported.
He did, however, indicate “He was open to raising the income cap for Social Security taxes,” according to the article.
Former President Donald Trump has sternly warned Republicans against making cuts to either social security or Medicare, noting that there was plenty of wasteful spending that could be cut instead.
“Cut waste, fraud, and abuse everywhere that we can find it, and there’s plenty of it, but do not cut the benefits our seniors worked for and paid for their entire lives. Save social security, don’t destroy it,” he warned.