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House Republican Negotiator: We've 'Pressed Pause' on Debt Ceiling Talks

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite


House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said while on Fox Business Friday evening that negotiations are back on, as he also criticized the president's absence and Democratic tactics.



With less than two weeks before the June 1 default deadline, while President Joe Biden is overseas attending the G7 summit, Republican negotiators have "pressed pause" on the debt ceiling talks. 

Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA), a negotiator appointed by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), was walking with Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) on Friday morning after less than fruitful discussions with White House negotiators, at which point he explained the frustrations.

McCarthy later repeated the need for a pause while giving remarks at the Capitol. "We’ve got to get movement by the White House, and we don’t have any movement yet. So, yeah, we’ve gotta pause," he said.


As The Hill reported earlier:

Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.) emerged from a meeting with White House officials in the Capitol voicing frustration that the sides had not made more progress and accusing the Democrats of being the cause. 

“We decided to press pause because it’s just not productive,” Graves told reporters while walking alongside Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), another negotiator. Graves said the White House negotiators are being “unreasonable right now.”

“Until people are willing to have reasonable conversations about how you can actually move forward and do the right thing, then we’re not gonna sit here and talk to ourselves,” he later added. “That’s what’s going on.”

Numerous reporters on Capitol Hill have also tweeted out coverage about the snag in negotiations, including when it comes to the troubling tone from the Biden administration is taking on such an urgent matter.


Fox News' Chad Pergram also explained the situation in depth in a Twitter thread.

McCarthy, who made news yesterday for the more positive tone he had been able to adopt, has also further weighed in about this update. 


As has been the case with the tone deaf Biden administration and Biden himself on the matter, they don't seem to be taking it very serious, at least not when the country is barreling towards default. 

The Hill also cited a White House official in their reporting. "There are real differences between the parties on budget issues and talks will be difficult. The President’s team is working hard towards a reasonable bipartisan solution that can pass the House and the Senate," the official said Friday.

For the White House to speak of "good faith" is almost laughable. The president had rebuffed McCarthy's efforts for over three months. Although McCarthy and the White House have mostly been at the forefront of such negotiations, other congressional leaders have been involved as well. He made such a point in responding to the pause in negotiations.


When it comes to reassurances from the White House about "a reasonable bipartisan solution," McCarthy had said at a press conference earlier this month following a meeting with the president and other congressional leaders that he had wanted to go for a bipartisan plan. While that plan, the Limit, Save, Grow Act, passed on partisan lines, it does include provisions previously mentioned by Democrats, including none other than Biden himself, from when he was a senator. 

Biden and fellow Democrats, have spoken up against such a plan, to do with work requirements for Medicaid and SNAP, even though it enjoys bipartisan support. 

The White House has been tweeting at length on Friday, including since Graves mentioned such a "pause," but the most recent tweet about the debt ceiling negotiations from the account came late on Thursday night.

Biden tweeted about default from his official account on Friday morning, though nothing of substance to show he was willing to make progress. Republicans also called out the president for such takes through retweets. 


Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) has been a key supporter of McCarthy's plan to cut spending, and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) has also been instrumental in uniting Senate Republicans who sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) indicating "will not be voting for cloture on any bill that raises the debt ceiling without substantive spending and budget reforms."

Former and potentially future President Donald Trump weighed in on Friday morning with a Truth Social post insisting that Republicans "DO NOT FOLD," in all caps.

The House Freedom Caucus had released a statement on Thursday afternoon in which they tweeted out how "There should be no further discussion until the Senate passes the legislation," referring to the Limit, Save, Grow Act. The statement had also noted that the "House Freedom Caucus calls on Speaker McCarthy and Senate Republicans to use every leverage and tool at their disposal to ensure the Limit, Save, Grow Act is signed into law."


Also on Thursday, Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus spoke to CBS News. "We're not saying you shouldn't continue to negotiate, but we can't be the buyer and the seller in the same agreement," he said. 

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