WASHINGTON — High-stakes talks on increasing the debit limit resumed on Capitol Hill Friday night, hours after their noon break when Republican negotiators walked out of the room and accused the White House of delaying talks. talks.
“We’ll be back in the room tonight,” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said on Fox Business, moments before the negotiators were spotted returning to the room where the talks took place.
“But it’s very frustrating if they want to walk into the room and think we’re going to spend more money next year than this year. It’s not fair. And it’s not going to happen,” said McCarthy.
One of the toughest sticking points in the talks has been the issue of spending caps, a key GOP demand but a red line for a sizable bloc of Democrats.
As the White House pushes for a debt ceiling hike that would push the next deadline beyond the 2024 presidential election, Republicans are pushing for a spending cap for next year that goes beyond the 2024 presidential election. a freeze on current revenue and effectively bring government spending back to 2022 levels.
“Let’s spend less, get back the Covid money we haven’t spent…work requirements…let’s do licensing reform…I think we could probably get a pretty good deal so we can move forward,” McCarthy said, laying out GOP demands, in addition to spending caps.
Keeping their respective caucuses together has become more difficult this week for party leaders – not less – as opposition to any compromise has grown among the blocs of conservative Republicans and progressive Democrats.
Any deal to raise or suspend the debt ceiling will need to pass both the GOP-led House and the Democratic-controlled Senate, and key lawmakers from both parties have acknowledged that the potential bill compromise law could be unacceptable to extremists on both sides.
“There are real differences between the parties on budget issues and the talks will be difficult,” a White House spokesperson told NBC News after the talks broke down. “The President’s team is working hard toward a reasonable bipartisan solution that can pass the House and Senate.”
The breakdown in talks came just a day after McCarthy said he was optimistic that congressional negotiators could reach a deal in time to hold a vote in the House next week.
“I see the path by which we can come to an agreement,” the California Republican told reporters on Thursday.
President Joe Biden is in Japan this weekend for a summit of G-7 leaders, but cut his trip short in order to return home on Sunday and continue negotiations.
Both the House and Senate kept their original plans to leave for the Thursday weekend. The Senate is not expected to resume its sessions until the last days of May.
But Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., advised members to be prepared to return to the Capitol with 24 hours’ notice.
Investors have been watching Washington closely this week for any signs of progress in the months-long impasse over the debt ceiling. Earlier this month, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen set June 1 as the earliest date the United States might run out of money to pay the debts that the government has already contracted.
The date was earlier than the White House or Wall Street had anticipated, and injected new urgency into talks that had been effectively stalled since February.
After a meeting at the White House on Tuesday with congressional leaders, President Joe Biden tapped two of his closest aides to resume talks, which had made little progress so far.
McCarthy praised Biden’s choice of presidential adviser Steve Ricchetti and Office of Management and Budget director Shalanda Young, calling the pair “exceptionally smart.”