West News Wire: The White House has criticised the Republican congressional leadership for blocking negotiations to raise the US debt ceiling and prevent the country from going into default for the first time in its history. The White House claims that the leadership has grown more and more dependent on radical ‘MAGA‘ elements.
A spokeswoman for President Joe Biden’s administration referred to an agreement presented by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Friday as a “big step back” and claimed that it contained a list of “extreme partisan demands” in a statement that was posted to the White House website on Saturday.
“The President has over and over again put deficit reduction proposals on the table, from limits on spending to cuts to Big Pharma profits to closing loopholes for oil and gas,” the statement from White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said. “It is only a Republican leadership beholden to its MAGA wing not the President or Democratic leadership who are threatening to put our nation into default.”
The proposal offered by McCarthy on Friday included significant cuts to domestic programs while increasing defense spending. It also imposed work requirements on some aid programs, while making it more difficult for states to waive work requirements for people in areas of high unemployment who rely on federal food assistance.
The GOP agreement also rejects Democratic demands to raise taxes in order to offset future budget shortfalls.
Biden made the remarks on Sunday while visiting the G7 conference in Hiroshima, Japan. “I’m not going to agree to a deal that protects wealthy tax cheats and crypto traders while putting food assistance at risk for nearly one million people,” he added.
Additionally, Biden charged that Republicans had handled the talks to raise the debt ceiling in a political theatre manner. “I think there are some MAGA Republicans in the House who know the damage this would do to the economy, and because I am president, and the president’s responsible for everything, Biden would take the blame,” he claimed.
Unless an accord is struck, the Treasury Department has indicated that the US could default on its $31.4 trillion debt as early as June 1. This would lead to a scenario where Washington is unable to borrow more money or pay all of its bills.