SIZE MATTERS: Biden challenges McCarthy: ‘Show me your budget and I’ll show you mine’
President Biden issued a challenge to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Monday amid growing tensions surrounding the debate over raising the federal debt ceiling: “Show me your budget and I’ll show you mine.”
Biden made the remarks while responding to a question from CNN about what his message to McCarthy would be during the next meeting between the two, which is scheduled to be held at the White House on Wednesday.
McCarthy said talks would revolve around raising the debt ceiling, which Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said was reached on Thursday.
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“President Biden: I accept your invitation to sit down and discuss a responsible debt ceiling increase to address irresponsible government spending,” McCarthy tweeted Friday afternoon. “I look forward to our meeting.”
On the same day, Biden confirmed to Politico that the discussion would be about debt, but a White House official later insisted the meeting would be “general” and not specific to the debt ceiling.
The official repeated the administration’s previously stated position that the debt ceiling was “not a negotiation.”
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Last week, Republican senators insisted that Biden will “negotiate” on the debt ceiling, with Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, calling the president’s anti-negotiation stance “unreasonable and ridiculous.”
The United States’ growing national debt stands at $31.4 trillion, while the federal government’s annual budget currently stands at $6.3 trillion, nearly $2 trillion more than this he spent each year before the coronavirus pandemic.
White House Publicist Karine Jean-Pierre was asked earlier this month about the debt ceiling negotiations and whether Biden is willing to “cut all spending” or negotiate with Republicans who “want to cut expenditure under a debt limitation agreement”.
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“Listen, as you have heard us say before, we will not negotiate the debt ceiling,” Jean-Pierre said.
Brie Stimson and Peter Kasperowicz of Fox Businesses contributed to this report.