Speaker Kevin McCarthy was talking a big game about negotiations and spending cuts before he met with President Biden, but it didn’t go that way.
Here is the readout of the meeting as provided to PoliticusUSA by the White House:
As part of a series of meetings with congressional leaders, President Biden hosted Speaker McCarthy in the Oval Office this afternoon, where they had a frank and straightforward dialogue.
They covered a range of issues and President Biden underscored that he is eager to continue working across the aisle in good faith, after passing historic bipartisan laws during his first two years in office.
President Biden made clear that, as every other leader in both parties in Congress has affirmed, it is their shared duty not to allow an unprecedented and economically catastrophic default. The United States Constitution is explicit about this obligation, and the American people expect Congress to meet it in the same way all of his predecessors have. It is not negotiable or conditional.
The President welcomes a separate discussion with congressional leaders about how to reduce the deficit and control the national debt while continuing to grow the economy. This conversation should build on the President’s leadership in delivering a record $1.7 trillion in deficit reduction in his first two years in office.
The President and the Speaker agreed to continue the conversation.
Kevin McCarthy said that he was coming to the White House to negotiate. President Biden said there will be no negotiations on the debt ceiling.
What seals the deal is how McCarthy reacted when asked about what spending cuts he requested after the meeting:
McCarthy is asked after meeting what Biden about what programs he thinks should be cut. He says he's not going to negotiate in public. pic.twitter.com/JtKRVBmu9N
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 1, 2023
McCarthy said that they didn’t talk about spending cuts.
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Kevin McCarthy tells his supporters that he is coming to the White House for spending cuts, but he didn’t talk about spending cuts with President Biden.
It sounds like McCarthy got rolled in his meeting with Biden.
None of this is surprising as Speaker McCarthy has consistently demonstrated his weakness, and it is easy to understand why some Republicans are already trying to bail on the debt ceiling showdown.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association