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Speaker Kevin McCarthy brushed off grumblings from the conservative flank of his conference over his ongoing debt limit negotiations with the White House, conceding that a final agreement would have to pass the Democratically-held Senate and be signed by President Biden.
The Republican leader arrived at the U.S. Capitol late on Friday morning, briefly stopping to tell reporters he felt “progress” was made in the prior night’s talks.
It comes after a letter signed by 35 members of the hardline-right House Freedom Caucus calling on him to “hold the line” against the White House and not compromise on any points laid out in the House GOP’s debt limit bill. Passed in April, the Limit, Save, Grow act would raise the debt limit by $1.5 trillion or through March 2024 and couple that with a $150 billion spending cut from this year to the next, tighter work requirements for federal benefits, and a rollback of key Biden administration policies
The Freedom Caucus urged McCarthy to remain firm on those demands, and asked him to add border security provisions to the final deal.
“We’ve got to make more progress now,” McCarthy said of the negotiations when he spoke to the press on Friday.
Concerning descent in his own conference, the speaker said, “You’re talking to people who don’t know what’s in the deal. So I’m not concerned about anybody making any comments right now about what they think is in or not in.
“Whenever we come to an agreement, we’ll make sure we will first brief our entire conference. So when you go and ask them questions, at least let them know what’s in it before they’re trying to get it.”
He said he was “not at all” concerned about the Freedom Caucus letter.
“Look, what’s going through right now is, members don’t know what’s all in. You all report things that aren’t really true in the process, so people get concerned,” McCarthy said. “If you wonder about holding the line, where we’ve been all the time, we don’t want to be in this deadline. We wanted to solve this months before.”
On Thursday and Friday, in response to reports about the details of the agreement, leading conservative lawmakers and budget experts raised strong objections, arguing McCarthy had failed to extract sufficient concessions from the Biden administration in exchange for raising the… pic.twitter.com/Dq1YgCtrWA
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) May 26, 2023
Biden REFUSED to negotiate with @SpeakerMcCarthy on the debt limit for 100 days, and now he is leaving Washington, DC to enjoy a nice long weekend of hiding while Speaker McCarthy is staying in D.C. to work out a deal.
Meanwhile, the country moves ever closer to a default.
— GOP (@GOP) May 26, 2023
.@SpeakerMcCarthy brushed off concerns from members of the @FreedomCaucus over debt ceiling negotiations, saying he is confident he’ll have enough support from rank-and-file lawmakers to get a deal passed before the country defaults on its loans.https://t.co/Qti3ISi7JM
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) May 26, 2023
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Neither side is really willing to compromise. It’s their way or nothing. Unfortunately the American people are the ones who suffer for their power trip.
McCarthy, with all due respect, Biden is brain dead. He is not all there, so not sure how you expect to negotiate anything with him, unless Obama is in his ear or stuck up his butt, as usual.
McCarthy needs to hold tight against t to the Demons Inflation is up again