House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said after a meeting with President Joe Biden that he is optimistic that Democrats and Republicans can find “common ground” on the debt limit and spending.
McCarthy said he and Biden had a “good first meeting,” and they shared their opposing opinions on how to raise the debt limit.
“We promised we would continue the conversation and we’ll see if we can get there. I think that at the end of the day, we can find common ground.” McCarthy said, adding that he and Biden will continue negotiating on potential compromises on the debt ceiling.
“I told the president I would like to see if we can come to an agreement long before the deadline, and we can start working on other things,” he added.
McCarthy also appeared to rule out the idea of putting together a commission to find spending cuts, which some lawmakers have advocated for.
“Nobody needs a commission to tell us … we have spent too much,” the Speaker said.
McCarthy also said, “The greatest threat to America is our debt.”
House Republicans as well as many Senate Republicans have called for structural spending reforms and cuts as part of raising the debt ceiling.
Biden has called for raising the debt ceiling with no spending cuts or reforms.
This remains in stark contrast to 2006, when then-Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) voted against raising the debt ceiling, expressing alarm about the rapid increase in the debt under then-President George W. Bush.
Biden said in a 2006 Senate floor speech:
Facts had changed. His promise to balance the budget, his promise to pay down the debt, were proved to be false. [Emphasis added]
But he refused to take responsibility for his policies. He refused to admit that a changed world demanded a change of course.
His refusal has pushed us deeper and deeper into the hole. His refusal added $450 billion to the debt in 2002; it added $984 billion in 2003; it added $800 billion in 2004. And here we are again today, adding another $781 billion. With that addition, our national debt will be $8.6 trillion at the end of this year.
The President’s budget plans will bring that number to $11.8 trillion at the end of the next 5 years. This is a record of utter disregard for our Nation’s financial future. It is a record of indifference to the price our children and grandchildren will pay to redeem our debt when it comes due. History will not judge this record kindly.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said on Monday, “No hostage-taking, no brinkmanship. Pass the debt ceiling.”
Sean Moran is a policy reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.