President Biden posed a challenge to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Monday amid rising tensions surrounding the debate over raising the federal debt ceiling: “Show me your budget and I’ll show you mine.”
Biden made the remarks while responding to a question from CNN about what his message to McCarthy would be during the upcoming meeting between the two, expected to be held Wednesday at the White House.
McCarthy said the discussions would revolve around increasing the debt ceiling, which Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said had been reached on Thursday.
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House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (left) and President Joe Biden (right).
“President Biden: I accept your invitation to sit down and discuss a responsible debt ceiling increase to address irresponsible government spending,” McCarthy tweeted Friday afternoon. “I look forward to our meeting.”
On the same day, Biden confirmed to Politico that the discussion would be about the debt, however a White House official later insisted the meeting would be a “general” one and not debt ceiling-specific.
The official repeated the administration’s previously stated position that the debt ceiling was “not a negotiation.”
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U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen speaks during a meeting with Zambia’s President Hakainde Hichilema at the State House in Lusaka, Zambia, Jan. 23, 2023.
(AP Photo/Salim Dawood)
Last week, Republican senators insisted Biden “will negotiate” on the debt ceiling, with Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, calling the president’s anti-negotiating stance “unreasonable and ridiculous.”
The growing U.S. national debt stands at $31.4 trillion while the federal government’s annual budget is currently operating at $6.3 trillion, nearly $2 trillion more than what it spent annually prior to the coronavirus pandemic.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked earlier this month about debt ceiling negotiations and whether Biden is willing to “cut any spending” or would be willing to negotiate with Republicans who “want to cut spending as part of a debt limit deal.”
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Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, stands alongside his fellow Republican senators at a press conference addressing the national debt on Wednesday, January 25, 2023.
“Look, as you’ve heard us say before, we will not be doing any negotiation over the debt ceiling,” Jean-Pierre said.
Fox Businesses’ Brie Stimson and Peter Kasperowicz contributed to this report.