WASHINGTON—House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said Wednesday he had a “good first meeting” with President Biden at the White House, which focused on the deadlocked debt ceiling and Republican demands for spending cuts.
McCarthy (R-California) told reporters in the West Wing driveway, “The president and I had a good first meeting. We agreed to continue the conversation.”
Biden and McCarthy focused entirely on government spending in their first meeting, McCarthy said after meeting for more than an hour, rather than other issues such as the controversial Republican demands for administration record. .
The meeting comes hours after the FBI searched Biden’s home for classified records after false documents from Biden’s vice president and Senate days were found in his Wilmington home and former office in Washington, D.C. was broken.
“I didn’t talk to him about confidential documents. I came here to talk about the debt ceiling and our spending, and that’s what we spent time on.
“We had an hour-long conversation about this and I thought it was a very good discussion,” he added. “I think we have an opportunity to reach an agreement here.”
Pointing to $31.5 trillion in debt and rising interest payments, the Speaker of the House argued that “we must change our trajectory to get on the road to equilibrium.”
“My role now is to ensure that we have the sensible and responsible ability to raise the debt ceiling, but not continue this runaway spending,” McCarthy said. “The biggest threat to the United States is debt. Now our debt is at his 120% of GDP, which means our debt is bigger than the economy.”
The White House has said it does not intend to negotiate spending cuts with Republicans in exchange for raising the debt ceiling, saying spending cuts should be on a case-by-case basis, with a partial government shutdown at the end of September and a partial government shutdown in July. Setting the possibility that the US will default on its debts, he said it was unlikely.
In its own statement, the White House said Biden and McCarthy had “candid and candid conversations” and said Biden “is working with congressional leaders on how to reduce the deficit and manage the national debt while continuing to grow the economy.” We welcome another discussion.”
The White House alluded to a broader argument than McCarthy acknowledged, stating: First two years in office. ”
McCarthy said he was optimistic about the spending cut deal.
“I told the president that I wanted to see if we could reach an agreement long before the deadline,” McCarthy said, adding, “If we can reach an agreement, we can sign a funding deal for the next two years. .”
Mr. Biden has repeatedly accused Mr. McCarthy of planning cuts to Social Security and Medicare, despite McCarthy’s consistent denials.
Biden told reporters on the White House lawn Monday that his message to McCarthy would be, “Show me your budget. I’ll show you mine.”
“No, I’m not talking,” McCarthy said after the meeting about cuts to Social Security and Medicare, but didn’t elaborate on exactly what he wanted to get rid of.
“To really get this right, I’m not going to negotiate this in the press,” McCarthy said.
“The president and I have been discussing various ideas and we will work to see if we can come to an agreement. We’ve just talked for over an hour.”
“We’ve both described parts of the vision…you can see where we can find common ground,” McCarthy said.