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Tipsheet

Biden Doubles Down on Refusal to Negotiate the Debt Ceiling

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House Speaker Kevin McCarthy called out President Joe Biden on Tuesday for going back on his word to negotiate a debt ceiling increase in good faith. 

"Nearly two months ago, you and I sat down to discuss a path forward on the debt limit. Since that time, however, you and your team have ben completely missing in action on any meaningful follow-up to this rapidly approaching deadline," McCarthy wrote in a letter to Biden Tuesday. "With each passing day, I am incredibly concerned that you are putting an already fragile economy in jeopardy by insisting upon your extreme position of refusing to negotiate any meaningful changes to out-of-control government spending alongside an increase of the debt limit. Your position -- if maintained -- could prevent America from meeting its obligations and hold dire ramifications for the entire nation."

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Late Tuesday night, Biden responded to McCarthy with a lengthy letter. In it, Biden doubled down on demands Republicans on Capitol Hill raise the debt ceiling without conditions or spending cuts. 

"Thank you for your letter of March 28, 2023, following up on our last meeting to discuss the obligation of Congress to keep our Nation from defaulting on its debts. As you know, this is a critical priority -- for the Congress, for my Administration, and for the American people who will bear the pain of a default. This has been done by previous Congresses with no conditions attached and this Congress should act quickly to do so now," Biden wrote to McCarthy. "We can agree that an unprecedented default would inflict needless economic pain on hard-working Americans and that the American people have no interest in brinksmanship."

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The current U.S. national debt sits at $32 trillion. Under Biden's latest spending budget, the debt would reach $51 trillion by 2033. The U.S. is expected to hit the current debt limit as early as summer 2023.

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