Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) proposed returning government funding for non-defense programs to “pre-inflationary levels,” beefing up work requirements for dependents who receive government assistance and returning unspent COVID-19 funds.
Republicans have also floated the idea of including permitting overhauls, particularly those that would make it easier to do energy projects, in a debt ceiling deal.
McCarthy told Biden that the debt ceiling bill should include measures to lower energy costs and “make America energy independent.”
That comes after hundreds of business lobbying groups penned a letter Monday urging Congress to ease permitting requirements before the end of the summer, a similar deadline to the debt default.
“Today, the single biggest obstacle to building the infrastructure of the future is a broken permitting system,” the business groups wrote.
The letter arrives as Washington remains split over how to address the debt limit, which caps how much money the Treasury can owe to cover the country’s bills.
While Democrats have drawn red lines against raising the ceiling with conditions, Republicans have insisted any action to lift the roughly $31.4 trillion cap be paired with significant fiscal reform.
McCarthy argued in the Tuesday letter that Biden was taking an “extreme position” by “refusing to negotiate any meaningful changes to out-of-control government spending alongside an increase of the debt limit.”
The White House called for Republicans to “pass a clean debt ceiling bill” in a statement not long after, while inviting the party to have a “separate conversation about our nation’s fiscal future” with the president.
“Congress has a constitutional obligation to address the debt limit – as they did three times in the previous administration without conditions,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.
The Hill’s Emily Brooks delves further here.