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McCarthy details House GOP bill to raise debt ceiling, calls on Biden to start talks

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washington House Speaker Kevin McCarthy reveals details of his proposal to increase credit limit and cut government spending, his initial offer for Democrats while calling on President Biden to start talks before the summer deadline to avoid a default.

McCarthy said in brief remarks on the House floor Wednesday that the GOP plan would raise the debt ceiling by $1.5 trillion or through the end of March 2024, whichever comes first. Known as the Limit, Save, Grow Act, 320 page bill McCarthy said that includes $4.5 trillion in savings by cutting discretionary spending to fiscal year 2022 levels and limiting future spending growth. It would also reallocate unspent COVID-19 funds, cancel Mr. Biden’s student loan forgiveness program, cancel new money for the IRS and impose work requirements for federal aid programs, among other provisions.

The speaker said, “If Washington wants to spend more, it has to come together and save like every American household elsewhere.” “President Biden has a choice. Come to the table and stop playing partisan political games, or cover your ears, refuse to negotiate and risk whining your way into the first default in our nation’s history.”

McCarthy discusses the broad contours of the bill Speech at the New York Stock Exchange earlier this week, and the legislation is expected to reach the House floor next week. While any legislation that would combine spending cuts with debt-ceiling increases is dead on arrival in the Democratic-controlled Senate, McCarthy hopes to move forward with negotiations with the White House by passing the GOP’s own bill in the House. have been

The White House has called on Republicans to pass a “clean” debt ceiling increase without spending cuts, and has refused to negotiate with McCarthy until he reveals his own proposal. The speaker, in his remarks on Wednesday, again called for the President to resume talks.

McCarthy said, “They need to sit down, talk, and get this crisis out of the way. Now that we have presented a clear plan for increasing the responsible debt limit, they have no more excuses and refuse to talk.” Is done.”

It is not clear whether McCarthy has substantial support from fellow Republicans to pass the bill. McCarthy could afford only a handful of defections in the House, given the Republicans’ slim majority.

Tennessee Republican Rep. Tim Burchett said McCarthy briefed him and some other members in a meeting on Wednesday afternoon, but “it wasn’t really a pitch” or a “hard sell”. Burchett said he was “not there yet” on supporting the plan, but said he was the only person at the meeting who was not in agreement with it. GOP Representative Barry Loudermilk of Georgia said it is not yet clear whether the bill will go through a committee process or go straight to the floor.

Mr Biden criticized McCarthy’s announcement during a speech on the economy in Maryland, calling the GOP bill “not a plan”.

“Look what he didn’t say,” Mr. Biden said. “He didn’t tell you exactly how much he wants to cut. But the House-led Republican proposal would cut vital programs, so-called discretionary spending, by 22%. That would mean the number of people who administer Social Security and Medicare Cuts, means longer waiting times. Higher costs for child care, significantly higher, preschool, college, higher costs for housing, especially for older Americans, people with disabilities, families with children, veterans.

The US Treasury reached the current debt limit of $31.4 trillion in February, but Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has since employed “extraordinary measures” to avoid default. Those efforts are expected to last until sometime in June, when the US will no longer be able to meet its obligations.

Nicole Killian contributed to this report.

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Rebecca Kaplan

Rebecca Kaplan covers Congress for CBS News.