GOP Senators support McCarthy, criticize Biden on debt limit negotiations. They call refusal to negotiate “immature.”

Senate Republicans Stand Firm Behind McCarthy’s Debt Ceiling Plan

Despite criticism from Democrats and President Joe Biden, Senate Republicans are standing firmly behind House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s plan to tie a debt ceiling increase to spending cuts.

“The adult in the room has been Speaker McCarthy and the House Republicans,” said Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) at a press conference following the Republican caucus’ weekly luncheon. Daines expressed pride in the way McCarthy has addressed the looming crisis of default.

Debt Limit Discussions Resume

Discussions between the House Speaker and the president resumed on May 9 at the White House after a three-month hiatus, during which Biden repeatedly refused to meet with McCarthy to negotiate. Biden has insisted that Congress approve an unconditional increase to the nation’s borrowing limit, which currently sits at $31.4 trillion.

If the debt ceiling is not raised, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned that default could occur as soon as June 1. Describing Biden’s approach to the situation as “reckless,” Daines said: “It’s childish not to negotiate; it’s irresponsible not to negotiate. Failure to do so could push the United States and global markets into a place we’ve never been before and hope to never go.”

Republicans Pledge Not to Approve Debt Limit Increase Without Concessions

House Republicans passed their own plan in April that would raise the debt ceiling by $1.5 trillion—or through March 2024—but would pair that increase with future spending cuts. In a show of support for McCarthy, 43 Senate Republicans have pledged not to approve any debt limit increase without concessions from Democrats on spending cuts.

At the May 10 press conference, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) noted that balancing a debt limit increase with budget cuts was not a novel idea. “I think it’s a good time to remind everyone that seven of the last 10 times we’ve raised the debt ceiling it’s had something attached to it, almost always related to spending, not surprisingly. So, the notion that this is unheard of is nonsense.”

The United States ‘Will Not Default’

When the United States approached the debt limit in January, the Treasury Department was forced to implement “extraordinary measures” to stave off default. However, with Senate Republicans standing firmly behind McCarthy’s plan, the United States is unlikely to default.

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