Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced Monday that House Republicans will vote on their own debt ceiling bill to empower the U.S. to meet its obligations until 2024.
“Since the president continues to hide, House Republicans will take action. So here’s our plan: In the coming weeks the House will vote on a bill to lift the debt ceiling into the next year, save taxpayers trillions of dollars, make us less dependent upon China, curb our high inflation — all without touching Social Security and Medicare,” McCarthy, R-Calif., said in a speech at the New York Stock Exchange.
McCarthy offered few specifics, saying the coming legislation would cut federal spending to 2022 levels and cap annual growth at 1% over the next decade. He criticized President Joe Biden for refusing to negotiate policy conditions to extend the debt limit, a position most Democrats support.
“Let me be clear. A no-strings-attached debt limit increase will not pass,” McCarthy said, adding of the coming GOP plan: “It limits, it saves, and it grows.”
Talks between Biden and McCarthy stall as debt ceiling deadline loomsMarch 29, 202302:07
McCarthy oversees a narrow House majority, and it won’t be easy for him to find the votes to pass a debt limit increase without bipartisan support. Democrats overwhelmingly support Biden’s position that Congress should pass a simple debt limit bill to avert an economic meltdown and negotiate budget policy separately, without the possibility of default if talks falter.
“Without exaggeration, American debt is a ticking time bomb that will detonate unless we take serious, responsible action. Yet how has President Biden reacted to this issue? He has done nothing,” McCarthy said. “Debt limit negotiations are an opportunity to examine our nation’s finances.”
Any bill would need approval from the Democratic-led Senate before it heads to Biden's desk for his signature. The Treasury Department has set an early June deadline to raise the debt limit, but other experts believe it could be from July to September.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Monday that the next step is for McCarthy to release his plan and show that it has the votes to pass through the House.
“Show us your plan,” Schumer told reporters. “What we got today was not a plan. It was a recycled pile of the same things he’s been saying for months.”
“President Biden and I are happy to meet with the speaker when he has something to talk about — a plan,” he said.
After McCarthy’s speech, White House spokesman Andrew Bates accused him of “breaking with the bipartisan norm he followed" during the Trump administration to extend the borrowing limit without “hostage-taking.”
McCarthy "again failed to clearly outline what House Republicans are proposing and will vote on, even as he referenced a vague, extreme MAGA wish list that will increase costs for hard-working families, take food assistance and health care away from millions of Americans, and yet would enlarge the deficit when combined with House Republican proposals for tax giveaways skewed to the super-rich, special interests, and profitable companies,” Bates said in a statement.