Pressure was put on President Joe Biden on Wednesday to negotiate the debt ceiling with House Republicans as the chamber was finalizing the said bill.
“Republicans say you’re refusing to negotiate on the debt limit…” a reporter told Biden at the White House before he interrupted.
“They haven’t figured out the debt limit yet,” the president responded.
Biden's remarks come on the same day that the House planned to vote on a debt ceiling resolution, raising doubts about whether Biden will eventually talk with House Republicans.
Prior to becoming president, Biden boasted about leading debt-limit negotiations with the GOP in 2011, in contrast to his 2023 stance.
“How can you explain the fact that grown men and women are unwilling to budge, up till now, and still some of them are still unwilling to budge by taking an absolute position: ‘My way or no way,’” Biden told CBS News in 2011.
“That’s not governing,” he added. “I predict to you that a lot of those new members who came here with ‘my way or the highway,’ they will either be on the highway or they will learn that they have to have compromise.”
The debt ceiling discussions in 2011 engulfed Washington in a battle between House Republicans from the “tea party” and the Obama administration. Biden was the deal's principal negotiator, and it was only settled at the last minute when Senate Republicans and some Democrats formed a “Super Committee” to suggest cuts and assure there would be no financial default.
Last week, House Republicans unveiled a plan to raise the debt ceiling while cutting spending. The package would raise the debt ceiling by $1.5 trillion while cutting expenditures by $130 billion. According to Breitbart News, the bill would:
- Rescind unobligated coronavirus aid money
- Stop “unfair” student loan giveaways.
- Remove the nearly $80 billion in money made available by the Inflation Reduction Act to recruit 87,000 IRS agents.
- Implement the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, which would limit the regulatory state.
- Enact H.R. 1, the Lower Costs Energy Act, a sweeping energy reform bill
But, despite opposing the idea, Biden has refused to compromise with Republicans.
“Folks, you got to ask yourself, what are MAGA Republicans in Congress doing?” Biden questioned the proposal. “Why are they doing this? What is the purpose.”
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