On Wednesday, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) explained Republicans’ stance on the debt ceiling as the Biden administration continues to refuse to engage in negotiations despite a looming U.S. default.
McCarthy made his comments during an interview with Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo.
“Well, Maria, we have to go back to, how did we finally get to this place, you know?” McCarthy said. “One-hundred-four days ago, I sat with the president and said, let’s sit down and let’s negotiate. Let’s be reasonable, let’s be sensible and let’s be responsible about the future, because if our debt gets too large, which it is today, it’s 120 percent of our GDP, it is larger than our economy. In the next 10 years, we’ll pay more in interest than we paid in the last 83 years.”
“So, this is a serious time, and I want to negotiate,” he continued. “But for 104 days he would not negotiate, said you just have to raise the debt ceiling, and he was going to put our economy in jeopardy by doing that. Then Republicans passed a bill, a limit, save, grow. Unfortunately, the Senate has taken no action, so we couldn’t go to conference. But finally, yesterday the president finally admitted he would negotiate. He would assign two people from his administration to negotiate with us. We started last night. So we finally have a process, a structure, that has worked every time in the past.”
“But now we have a short timeframe to get the job done in,” McCarthy added. “So, I’m optimistic that now we have a structure that can work. The timeframe is what’s difficult. But what we really have to do is, we’ve got to spend less than we spent before to curb inflation, we’ve got to become less dependent on China, make our supply chain better, get more people into the workforce. That’s where work requirements moves people out of poverty. We’ve got to be able to build things in America again. That’s where we’re going to cut red tape, let projects actually permitting process actually work.”
“And there’s a lot of places where we need to save money, like COVID money that you appropriated for two years, and nobody spent,” he said. “That’s common sense. Why – why do we have to fight over that, to bring that back to the hard-working taxpayer? That’s what’s crazy,” “There has to be caps, otherwise we’re just growing out of control. Look, we had just started negotiations last night. I – I now am optimistic because we have a structure that works. Talk to me in a few days to see if I’m optimistic about how the negotiations are going.”