McCarthy calls Biden memo on spending cuts, avoiding default ‘political games’
Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) called a White House memo outlining President Biden’s plan for their meeting on Wednesday “political games.”
The memo, released on Tuesday, said Biden will ask McCarthy if he will commit to avoiding a default and if he will release a budget proposal outlining House GOP spending plans.
“Mr. President: I received your staff’s memo. I’m not interested in political games. I’m coming to negotiate for the American people,” McCarthy said in a tweet.
The memo was written by National Economic Council Director Brian Deese and Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young and detailed how the president and his team plan to press the Speaker on two key points as they seek a commitment to raise the debt ceiling without tying it to spending cuts.
The first point was whether McCarthy will “commit to the bedrock principle that the United States will never default on its financial obligations,” citing comments from Democratic leaders and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who has said the government will not default.
The second point was when McCarthy and House Republicans will release their budget, noting that the White House budget proposal will be released on March 9.
Biden and McCarthy’s meeting on Wednesday will be their first one-on-one meeting since McCarthy became Speaker.
The president and his team have insisted the debt ceiling should be raised without conditions, pointing to past precedent. Some Republicans, however, have signaled they plan to use the upcoming negotiations as leverage to try to secure cuts to government spending they consider wasteful.
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