Who Will Blink First? McCarthy Says No Debt Ceiling Negotiations Until Biden Returns from Japan Summit

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy blames President Biden for the stalled budget negotiations. (Credit: Kevin McCarthy/Twitter)

As the nation barrels toward defaulting on our debt, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said Saturday that negotiations are on pause until President Joe Biden returns Sunday from the Group of Seven summit in Japan. Both sides are accusing the other of being intractable in negotiations over raising the debt ceiling, which Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says we could hit as soon as June 1, causing “economic chaos.”


Said McCarthy about the latest developments (or lack thereof):

Unfortunately, the White House moved backwards.

I don’t think we’re going to be able to move forward until the president can get back in the country.

The Washington Post reported Saturday that the White House recently made what they considered a concession, but House Republicans rejected it:

During talks ahead of a deadline that could arrive in less than two weeks, Biden aides offered what they viewed as a key concession by proposing that Congress largely hold spending constant on a wide swath of domestic programs, including education, scientific research and housing aid. The president’s negotiators also proposed essentially holding military spending flat for next year.

GOP leaders, however, were not interested in keeping the military budget flat—in fact, they want to raise it—and they want more domestic spending cuts than what was offered.

Of course, the White House went back to blaming any difficulties on the MAGA crowd, because that is their default response to everything even though the man who popularized the “Make America Great Again” slogan, former President Donald Trump, isn’t even in office:


“It is only a Republican leadership beholden to its MAGA wing — not the President or Democratic leadership — who are threatening to put our nation into default for the first time in our history unless extreme partisan demands are met,” according to a statement by Biden press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

Biden, meanwhile, has remained pretty blasé about the situation, saying from a press conference at the summit (after telling a reporter to “shush up“) that he’s “not at all” concerned and thinks “we’ll be able to avoid a default and we’ll get something decent done.”

He might think his brinkmanship will force the GOP to cave and that he’ll be able to pin the blame on Republicans should a deal not be reached, but he may not have seen the brutal new AP-NORC poll that RedState’s Bonchie reported on which shows that a whopping 63 percent of Americans want a debt ceiling deal that includes measures to decrease the federal deficit, while only 19 percent want a debt ceiling increase to be passed without any conditions.

Meanwhile, another poll shows that McCarthy’s popularity has surged in recent months, jumping 10 percent since January. That’s a clear sign that many Americans support his desire for significant budget cuts. Although liberals obviously don’t have high regard for the speaker, 41 percent of moderates hold a favorable view of his leadership.

In other words, after months of delay tactics and simply refusing to negotiate, the president is seen by the public as the one who’s being unreasonable.


It’s like watching a game of ping pong, seeing these two sides go back and forth against each other. It is not a game, however, and the stakes are high. Although there are varying opinions of just how exactly bad the economic damage would be should the nation default, there’s widespread agreement that it would not be favorable.

Biden has never appeared to take these negotiations seriously, but the clock keeps ticking and June is coming fast. If we do drive off a cliff, I think Americans will place the blame squarely at his feet.


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