Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., slammed President Biden for showing a “deficiency of leadership” on debt ceiling negotiations with Republicans after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said a bill Is forthcoming.
McCarthy announced his chamber would be moving forward with a bill to raise the debt limit and cut back on spending following months of Biden’s refusal to negotiate with Republicans.
“America is facing a historic economic crisis brought on by an abject failure to address our exploding national debt, chronic inflation, a looming recession, and the more immediate need to raise the debt ceiling,” Manchin said in a statement Thursday. “Our elected leaders must stop with the political games, work together and negotiate a compromise. Instead, it has been more than 78 days since President Biden last met with Speaker McCarthy. This signals a deficiency of leadership, and it must change.”
“While it is reasonable to sincerely disagree with any specific debt ceiling approach, we will achieve a historic default, and the economic whirlwind which follows, if President Biden continues to refuse to even negotiate a reasonable and commonsense compromise,” he continued. “To that end, I applaud Speaker McCarthy for putting forward a proposal that would prevent default and rein in federal spending. While I do not agree with everything proposed, the fact of the matter is that it is the only bill actually moving through Congress that would prevent default.”
President Joe Biden speaks to Sen. Joe Manchin during an Inflation Reduction Act event on the South Lawn of the White House on Sept. 13, 2022. (Samuel Corum/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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Manchin called on Biden to come to the table with a plan for “real and substantive spending cuts and deficit reduction.”
“Failing to do so may score political points with the extremes of the Democratic Party, but make no mistake, it will be the American people – and our nation – who will pay the ultimate price if partisan politics continues to define our politics and policies,” he said.
Biden and McCarthy have traded public barbs over the debt limit standoff but have not actually sat down to discuss it since early February. The president has so far refused to negotiate spending cuts with Republicans on the issue and argues the debt ceiling should be increased without any condition.
Sen. Joe Manchin called on President Biden to come to the table with a plan for “real and substantive spending cuts and deficit reduction.” (Reuters/Elizabeth Frantz | Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy talks to reporters, Feb. 6, 2023, on Capitol Hill. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Republicans announced their own plan on Wednesday called the Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023.
McCarthy claimed his bill would lift the debt ceiling by $1.5 trillion or through March 2024, whichever benchmark is hit first, and “provide more than $4.5 trillion in savings to the American taxpayer.”
In addition to that, the legislation would raise work requirements for federal benefits, claw back billions of dollars in unused COVID-19 pandemic funds, and repeal Biden’s student loan forgiveness program and the $80 billion he allocated toward the IRS in the Inflation Reduction Act.
Along with capping nondiscretionary spending at fiscal year 2022 levels, it would cap growth on new spending for 10 subsequent years to just 1% annually.
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“Now that we’ve introduced a clear plan for responsible debt limit increase, they have no more excuse and refuse to negotiate,” McCarthy said Wednesday.
The bill is expected to come for a vote on the House floor sometime next week, but it is almost certainly doomed in the Senate, where Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has so far insisted on entertaining only a “clean” debt ceiling increase.