The Treasury has warned about the possibility of defaulting on the federal deficit by June 1… but President Joe Biden is still trying to negotiate a huge spending bill. Although Biden eased his stalemate with congressional leaders, and he invited the GOP to negotiate at the White House on May 9, Republicans say he’s not being serious.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has slammed Biden for taking too long. Cruz questioned the president’s mental acuity over negotiations, and he accused the White House staffers of exercising undue influence over the president.
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“Vice President Biden sat down with House Republicans and reached a meaningful compromise,” Cruz said, referring to a near-default in 2011.
“Sadly, the reason he hasn’t so far, I believe, is because his mental faculties are too diminished right now to do what he did in 2011, to sit down and actually work together on a solution to the problem. And what we’re left with is a bunch of young staffers in the White House — radical children — who are perfectly willing to risk a default on the debt because they have no appreciation of the chaos, and misery and damage a default would do.”
“We should not default on our debt, but the present path we’re on is unsustainable. And Joe Biden needs to come to the table,” Cruz said.
“It is a major victory for America that, the day before yesterday, Biden finally blinked and said, ‘OK. I will sit down and talk.’ Now, the second step is, ‘Let’s solve the problem.'”
Take a look —
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speculates that President Biden’s “mental faculties are too diminished” to negotiate with Republicans on the debt limit:
“What we’re left with is a bunch of young staffers in the White House — radical children — who are perfectly willing to risk a default.” pic.twitter.com/Edt5n44s8J
— The Recount (@therecount) May 3, 2023
Biden has called for a huge increase to the $31.4 trillion cap, while House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and GOP lawmakers are demanding spending cuts in return. Republicans in the House has already passed the Limit, Save, and Grow Act, a bill with $4.8 trillion in deficit savings over 10 years.
“House Republicans did their job and passed a responsible bill that raises the debt ceiling, avoids default, and tackles reckless spending,” McCarthy said in a statement. “The Senate and the President need to get to work — and soon.”
McCarthy has called on Biden to engage in talks. But as recently as noon on Monday, the president said in a speech that the GOP congressional leader needed to first make a commitment that the U.S. government would not default. House Republicans passed a bill last week that would cleave discretionary spending over the next decade in return for increasing the debt limit by $1.5 trillion or until March 31, 2024, possibly setting up another showdown going into that year’s presidential election.
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On Monday afternoon, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned in a letter that “we will be unable to continue to satisfy all of the government’s obligations by early June, and potentially as early as June 1, if Congress does not raise or suspend the debt limit before that time.”
McCarthy warned Monday after Treasury’s update that “the clock is ticking.”
Economists have sounded the alarm about a financial catastrophe if the government of the world’s largest economy is unable to pay its bills. A default could plunge the U.S. and other nations into severe recessions, all while cracking America’s financial credibility in ways that could make a recovery difficult.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., quickly seized on Yellen’s letter to avoid spending cuts “as part of our annual budget process, which is currently underway,”
“It’s time to put aside partisan interests and do what is right and necessary for the American people to avoid a first-ever U.S. government default that crashes the stock market, raises costs on families and jeopardizes retirement savings,” the lawmakers said in a statement.
Late Monday, Schumer began the Senate process for consideration of both a clean debt ceiling bill, which would suspend the limit for two years, as well as the House Republican package that his office said could be used for future budget negotiations.
But both Biden and McCarthy have pledged to protect Social Security and Medicare, which will be the primary drivers of the debt in the coming decades, according to economists and the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.
McCarthy said he looked forward to Biden “changing his mind and negotiating with us.”
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The Biden administration has had months to plan this negotiations… but waited until the last minute.
The Horn editorial team and the Associated Press contributed to this article