WASHINGTON — House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said Wednesday he had a “good first meeting” with President Biden at the White House, focusing on Republican demands for a debt ceiling moratorium and spending cuts.
“The president and I had a good first meeting,” McCarthy (R-Calif.) told reporters on the West Wing driveway. “We agreed to continue the conversation.”
Biden and McCarthy focused their first sit-in entirely on government spending, McCarthy said after more than an hour of conversation — rather than on other issues, such as controversial Republican demands for administration records. .
The meeting came hours after the FBI searched Biden’s home in Rehoboth Beach, Del., for classified records, while falsified documents from Biden’s vice presidency and Senate years were found at his Wilmington home and former D.C. office. Exported from
“I didn’t talk to him about the confidential documents. I came here to talk about the debt ceiling and my expenses, and that’s what we spent our time on,” McCarthy said.
“We had an hour of conversation about it which I thought was a very good discussion,” he added. “I think there’s an opportunity here to come to an agreement.”
The House speaker pointed to the $31.5 trillion national debt and rising interest payments to make the case that “we have to change gears to get on the path to balance.”
“My role right now is to make sure we have the prudent, responsible ability to raise the debt ceiling but not continue this runaway spending,” McCarthy said. The biggest threat to America is our debt. Our debt is now at 120 percent of GDP, meaning our debt is bigger than our economy.
The White House says it won’t negotiate with Republicans on spending cuts in exchange for raising the debt ceiling, and any spending cuts must come separately from a possible partial government shutdown in late September and July. In the US default – although McCarthy said it does not seem so.
In its own statement, the White House said Biden and McCarthy had a “clear and frank conversation” and that Biden “welcomes a separate discussion with congressional leaders on how to reduce the deficit and restore the economy.” How to control national debt while promoting growth.”
The White House hinted at a broader conversation with McCarthy than the speaker acknowledged, saying, “They covered a wide range of issues, and President Biden emphasized that he would pass historic bipartisan legislation during his tenure.” After passing, eager to continue working down the aisle in good faith. First two years in office.”
McCarthy said he was optimistic about the cost-cutting deal.
“I told the president I’d like to see if we can reach an agreement long before the deadline, and we can start working on other things,” McCarthy added. If we are able to reach an agreement, we can contract funding for the next two years.
Biden has repeatedly accused McCarthy of planning to cut Social Security and Medicare — despite the speaker’s repeated denials — and said before the meeting that he looked forward to seeing McCarthy cut spending. What is suggested?
Biden told reporters on the White House lawn Monday that his message to McCarthy would be, “Show me your budget, I’ll show you my budget” — even though the White House would normally be the first to propose an annual budget. Is.
“No, we’re not talking about cuts to Social Security and Medicare, but he won’t detail exactly what he wants to eliminate,” McCarthy said after the meeting.
“To really be able to do it right, I’m not going to negotiate it in the press,” McCarthy said.
“The president and I have talked about a lot of different ideas and we’ll work to see if we can come to an agreement. … I think the honorable way to do that is to talk to the president, As we did for over an hour now.
McCarthy added, “We both offered some of our perspectives…I can see where we can find common ground.”