Rhetoric over US debt limit boils over as Republicans, Democrats joust

2 months ago 42

WASHINGTON - Partisan sniping over raising US borrowing authority ratcheted up on Friday, when House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy accused President Joe Biden of ignoring the issue, even as Republicans have failed to detail budget cuts they want before allowing a debt limit increase.

At a news conference in the US Capitol, the Republican speaker attacked the Democratic president for not holding negotiating sessions with him since an initial meeting early last month.

“Unfortunately, the president doesn’t think it’s important,” Mr McCarthy said when asked about how talks on the debt ceiling were going.

The government faces a historic default on its debts without legislation to raise the US$31.4 trillion (S$41 trillion) debt limit.

Mr Biden and leading Democrats in Congress have urged Mr McCarthy to unveil Republicans’ plans for cutting spending, saying that additional meetings before that happens would be fruitless.

“House Republicans have long called producing a budget a basic function of government, even suggesting that if members of Congress don’t pass a budget, they shouldn’t get a pay cheque,” Mr Andrew Bates, deputy White House press secretary, said in an email.

“President Biden has produced a detailed budget that reduces the deficit by US$3 trillion over the next decade while continuing to invest in America, and House Republicans should do the same so everybody can truly see how the numbers add up.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters on Thursday that Democrats welcome budget talks anytime. But Mr McCarthy “has got to show us his pl...

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