President Biden will sharply rebuke House Republicans on Wednesday, accusing them of holding the U.S. economy hostage by demanding spending cuts in exchange for a debt-ceiling deal.
It is the latest escalation of rhetoric on both sides as negotiations on the debt ceiling are reaching a pivotal level in order to avoid a default.
Mr. Biden refuses to budget, insisting that Congress should raise the nation’s debt limit unconditionally, while House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, California Republican, is demanding massive spending cuts and policy concessions in the debt-ceiling negotiations.
Both sides are making their case to the American people rather than each other. Mr. McCarthy on Monday delivered a speech at the New York Stock Exchange outlining the GOP plan.
On Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Biden is set to deliver a searing rebuttal during a speech at a union hall in Accokeek, Maryland, just south of Washington.
A White House official said Mr. Biden will highlight his plan and say the Republicans’ proposed spending cuts could plunge the U.S. into an economic crisis.
“The president will highlight the impacts of Speaker McCarthy and extreme MAGA House Republicans’ threatened 22% spending cuts — to veterans’ health care, child care, and opioids treatment,” the official said.
Also, the official said “he’ll explain how House Republicans are trying to take away food assistance and health care from millions of Americans and repeal the Inflation Reduction Act, sending manufacturing overseas.”
The remarks are the latest in a series of Mr. Biden’s attacks on House Republicans, who took control of the House in January.
They’ve promised to be a buttress against what they call the Biden administration’s rampant spending. House Republicans say Mr. Biden’s reckless spending has sent inflation soaring, raising prices for groceries, houses and other consumer goods.
In his speech Monday, Mr. McCarthy called for rolling back domestic, non-defense spending to 2022 levels. But he did not identify specific cuts.
“Simply put, it puts us on a fiscally responsible path in three ways: It limits, saves and it grows,” he said.
Mr. McCarthy also slammed Mr. Biden for his refusal to negotiate a debt deal.
“Without exaggeration, American debt is a ticking time bomb that will detonate unless we take serious responsible action. Yet, how has President Biden reacted to this issue? He has done nothing. So in my view, and I think the rest of America, it’s irresponsible,” he said.
Mr. Biden is expected to criticize the GOP plan to cut spending, arguing that it is a tax giveaway that overwhelmingly benefits the wealthiest individuals and biggest corporations, according to the official.
“The president will outline his plan to cut the deficit by nearly $3 trillion over 10 years by asking the super-wealthy and large corporations to pay their fair share, and cutting wasteful spending on special interests like big pharma and big oil,” the official said.
Both Democrats and Republicans are facing a ticking clock after the Treasury Department this month started taking “extraordinary measures” to forestall a default.
The Biden administration believes it has until early June to raise the country’s borrowing limit before the government risks default, which would risk economic chaos in the U.S. and worldwide.
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