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Is Biden Finally Getting His Act Together on the Debt Ceiling?

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

After stubbornly refusing to meet and negotiate with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on raising the debt ceiling so as to avoid a default, President Joe Biden is now reportedly willing to talk. According to The Hill, which cites "a source familiar with the matter," the president has invited McCarthy and other congressional leaders to meet on May 9.


Biden has finally reached out to McCarthy, as well as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY). Such news comes as McCarthy is leading a congressional delegation in Israel. 

Fox News also confirmed the invitation, according to their senior congressional correspondent, Chad Pergram.

The White House has continuously lambasted Congressional Republicans for McCarthy's plan to raise the debt ceiling, known as the Limit, Save, Grow Act. When the plan passed the House last week despite doubts from naysayers and the press, a knee jerk reaction from the White House was to threaten a veto, even though it's considered dead on arrival in the Democratically-controlled Senate. 

The White House also lambasted the 217 Republican House members who voted in favor of the plan in a tweet from last week, as our friends at Twitchy picked up on.


Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-TX), who chairs the House Budget Committee, is countering that narrative.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has even claimed that the plan would give children asthma and "quite literally melt bones." When confronted at a recent press conference as to why the president wouldn't meet with McCarthy, she lashed out with a response that involved blaming "the MAGA wing of the Republican Party," as she so often does. 

Speaking of Jean-Pierre, one would not have known that negotiations were potentially on the table given that a mere few hours ago she was once again blaming Republicans and giving non-answers. 

When directly asked "has the White House done anything to reach out to" McCarthy to even "just begin that conversation over the budget," and if it would be "in concert with" debt limit discussions, she again complained that "what they have put forward... it's not a plan" and is "a recipe for economic catastrophe."


She had also claimed that what Republicans "have proposed" is "going to hurt Americans" and "throw the economy into chaos." At least they have actually proposed and passed something, though. 

Resistance from Biden and most of his fellow Democrats is even more ridiculous and extremely hypocritical given that McCarthy's plan returns to spending from fiscal year 2022 levels, something Democrats were all too happy to celebrate at the time, as Spencer highlighted in-depth

What may have forced Biden's hand is that, as Spencer covered earlier, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Monday sent a letter to McCarthy indicating that the United States could default on its debt as soon as June 1.

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), who has worked with Democrats on such issues such as the so-called infrastructure bill, did not mince words about the White House's behavior, or the May 9 date that Biden has in mind.


While even some Democrats have had enough sense to call on the president to negotiate with McCarthy, others still cling to desperate partisanship. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has praised McCarthy's bill and supports negotiations, though Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) does not want the White House to cut a deal with Republicans tying the plan to spending cuts.

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