Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who is up for reelection in a red state, urged President Joe Biden on Thursday to meet with Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) after the House GOP passed legislation to lift the debt ceiling through early next year.
“The clock is ticking on this debt ceiling crisis, and the American people will pay the economic price if President Biden continues to refuse to sit down and negotiate a commonsense compromise that would prevent a historic default,” Manchin said.
The senator’s statement comes after House Republicans passed legislation — the Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023 — to raise the debt ceiling on Wednesday without any Democrat support. The legislation would raise the debt ceiling by $1.5 trillion while tackling America’s national deficit by saving the government an estimated $4.8 trillion over the next ten years.
While the U.S. is expected to reach its debt limit as early as this summer, Biden has refused to meet with McCarthy to discuss the House Republicans’ plan. Biden’s Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, has warned of “economic catastrophe” if Biden and Congress cannot move to increase the limit in time.
On Monday, the White House released a Statement of Administration Policy, calling the Republican-led legislation “a reckless attempt to extract extreme concessions as a condition for the United States simply paying the bills it has already incurred” and vowed to veto the measure if it makes it to Biden’s desk.
Then, on Thursday night, Politico reported that Biden was caught off guard by McCarthy’s success in getting a debt ceiling bill passed through the House and that White House officials “remain nervous about how and when the standoff will end.”
Acknowledging that it has been 85 days, as of Thursday, since Biden sat down with McCarthy, he explained that the Speaker “did his job” by passing a bill to prevent the U.S. from defaulting while at the same time, “reining in” federal spending.
“While I do not agree with everything proposed, it remains the only bill moving through Congress that would prevent default, and that cannot be ignored. Only the President can prevent this from becoming a full-blown domestic crisis,” Manchin explained.
“For the sake of our nation that we all serve, I urge the President to put politics and partisanship aside, come to the table, and negotiate a real compromise that saves America from this impending economic catastrophe,” the West Virginia senator added.
Earlier this month, Manchin again tried to intervene in the debt ceiling talks by slamming Biden for his “deficiency of leadership” for not talking to McCarthy about the debt ceiling. At the same time, he praised the House Speaker for proposing a debt ceiling plan when Biden refused to meet.