Kevin McCarthy unveiled his calls for to barter with President Biden however to date talks have stalled. If Congress fails to boost the debt restrict, the financial penalties could possibly be dire.
LEILA FADEL, HOST:
A prime precedence for Congress is tackling a looming deadline on the debt ceiling.
A MARTÍNEZ, HOST:
Home Speaker Kevin McCarthy addressed the difficulty yesterday throughout a speech on the New York Inventory Trade.
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KEVIN MCCARTHY: Debt restrict negotiations are a possibility to look at our nation’s funds.
MARTÍNEZ: However precise negotiations between McCarthy and the White Home stay stalled.
FADEL: Right here to speak us by means of that is NPR congressional reporter Barbara Sprunt. Hello, Barbara.
BARBARA SPRUNT, BYLINE: Hello. Good morning.
FADEL: Good morning. So for starters, give us some context to the debt restrict itself and the way we acquired right here.
SPRUNT: So zooming manner out, the debt restrict is not about future spending. It is about assembly the price of present commitments the federal authorities has made. And it is one thing that may really feel a bit like Groundhog Day as a result of when the debt ceiling is approached, Congress has to handle it indirectly. And that is what’s occurring now. In January, the U.S. hit its debt restrict. The Treasury Division employed what it calls extraordinary measures to basically act as a Band-Assist for a few months. However that can run out in early summer season. If Congress fails to boost the debt restrict earlier than then, it may result in an unprecedented debt default.
FADEL: So rather a lot at stake right here. McCarthy talked about this throughout his speech. And he known as the debt a, quote, “ticking time bomb.” What’s his plan?
SPRUNT: Nicely, McCarthy stated the Home will vote within the coming weeks on a invoice that would cut back federal spending ranges to these in 2022, restrict the expansion of spending over the subsequent 10 years to 1% yearly and lift the debt restrict into 2024, which I ought to level out may trigger lawmakers to have to barter this entire factor once more smack dab in the midst of the presidential main season. McCarthy stated Home Republicans would additionally add work necessities for adults with out dependents who’re enrolled in numerous federal help packages, like meals stamps. McCarthy was very cautious so as to add that the invoice would not contact Social Safety and Medicare, two packages which are extremely popular.
This speech comes as negotiations between the speaker and the president have stalled. The pair met in February. And McCarthy laid the blame for the deadlock at Biden’s ft. Biden has remained adamant that he desires to signal a clear debt ceiling invoice, so one which’s utterly separate from any laws on spending cuts. But it surely’s value noting that McCarthy is marking his first hundred days as speaker. And if we solid again to earlier this yr, you may keep in mind there was a really lengthy collection of votes to safe sufficient help for him to grow to be speaker. And one of many calls for from lawmakers who initially withheld their help was that the Home not vote on a standalone measure to raise the debt restrict.
FADEL: Yeah. So McCarthy’s strolling a positive line with numerous GOP factions right here, proper?
SPRUNT: Nicely, it looks as if one thing that would show to be tough for McCarthy. His slim majority means he can afford to lose solely a handful of Republicans. And even when the invoice had been handed, it could nonetheless be lifeless on arrival within the Democratic-controlled Senate. However the pondering is that if it will probably cross the Home, it’d carry Biden again to the negotiating desk.
FADEL: OK. So that is troubling, the 2 events mainly nowhere on what to do concerning the debt restrict. What are Democrats saying?
SPRUNT: Nicely, Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer has repeatedly stated that Republicans ought to work alongside Democrats to avert this disaster, which he factors out they did beneath the Trump administration.
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CHUCK SCHUMER: The dialogue about cuts belongs within the dialogue about price range, not as a precondition for avoiding default.
SPRUNT: After McCarthy’s speech, White Home spokesperson Andrew Bates stated in a press release that the speaker did not clearly define an actual proposal, and stated McCarthy is holding the economic system hostage.
FADEL: NPR congressional reporter Barbara Sprunt. Barbara, thanks.
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