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Tipsheet

Why Democrats Are Frustrated With Biden Now

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

President Joe Biden has, from the word go, made it clear that he did not view raising the country's debt limit as a negotiable topic. He, along with his press team and others within the West Wing, have insisted that Congress pass a clean bill to raise the debt ceiling without conditions and without any other provisions attached. 

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Biden has refused to even talk with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), but those within Biden's own party are growing nervous that he's displaying a lack of urgency or concern over the situation that could see the United States default on its obligations in just a few week's time. McCarthy, meanwhile, has made it clear repeatedly that he's ready to talk or meet with Biden to start negotiations before it's too late.

According to a pair of stories run by Politico and Axios toward the end of this week, Democrats are itching for Biden to start negotiating after Speaker McCarthy and Republicans released their plan to raise the debt limit while also reducing spending to address the root causes of inflation and Americans' economic woes. 

"I respect the White House position," Minnesota Democrat Rep. Dean Phillips said. "But not in perpetuity. Because negotiation, that's what this whole institution is about," he added. 

Rep. Haley Stevens (D-MI) said she and Democrats are "going to have to negotiate" with Republicans, adding her desire to "move away from just legislating by crisis." Stevens also shared some appreciation for McCarthy putting forward the GOP plan for the debt limit. "Although I don't like what I'm reacting to, I'm glad that there is something to react to," she added.

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Another Michigan Democrat, Rep. Debbie Dingell, said Biden and McCarthy have "got to" negotiate "soon," pointing out that the White House "can't keep waiting" with the default deadline rapidly approaching.

Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-FL) added to the chorus, saying "the president and the speaker should always talk" before reminding Biden that he's "shown over his history that he's always willing to negotiate." Until now, apparently.

Invoking a common Irish heritage, Rep. Marchy Kaptur (D-OH) said Biden and McCarthy "ought to have a nice dinner, and they ought to get to work and get it done for the sake of the country."

Rep. Greg Landsman (D-OH) called it "insane" that the government is "even coming this close to a potential default" and nudged Biden, saying he doesn't "think there's any harm in the two of them sitting down to talk."

In the Democrat-controlled Senate, patience with Biden is also starting to wear thin among some members of the upper chamber. 

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said on Thursday that, "while it is reasonable to sincerely disagree with any specific debt ceiling approach, we will achieve a historic default...if President Biden continues to refuse to even negotiate" before slamming Biden for displaying a "deficiency of leadership" in the matter. 

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When it comes to McCarthy, however, Manchin gave him credit for "putting forward a proposal that would prevent default and rein in federal spending." McCarthy's GOP bill, Manchin said, "is the only bill actually moving through Congress that would prevent default."

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