1 of 3 | Democrats continue to oppose the plan by House Republicans to raise the national debt ceiling while slashing government spending cuts and are not in agreement on whether President Joe Biden should negotiate with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
April 30 (UPI) -- Democrats continue to oppose the plan by House Republicans to raise the national debt ceiling while slashing government spending cuts and are not in agreement on whether President Joe Biden should negotiate with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
The tug-of-war follows the passage of the House Republican bill on Wednesday that would increase the federal borrowing limit. The bill passed by a 217-215 vote with four Republicans breaking from the party to vote against it.
In a press briefing, Rep. McCarthy, R-Calif., called his job "done" and said the ball is now in Biden's court.
"The president can no longer ignore by not negotiating," McCarthy said. "Sen. [Chuck] Schumer, he thinks he's got a plan. Put it on the floor and see if you can pass it and then we can go to conference."
Biden has said he would be willing to meet with McCarthy, but not to discuss raising the debt limit, which he has repeatedly said is not negotiable.
Democrats have largely supported Biden's position. In an interview on ABC's This Week, Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., said the bill passed by the House is tantamount to a "hostage" negotiation, as Republicans have tied spending cuts over the next decade to an increase in the debt ceiling, Politico reports.
The stance by Democrats, however, has not been unanimous. Reps. Jared Golden, D-Maine, Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, D-Wash., and Mary Sattler Peltola, D-Alaska, urged Biden and McCarthy to "end the partisan standoff and brinkmanship before it rattles markets," in a letter on Wednesday.
"With the specter of a chance of default, Standard & Poor's Global Rating downgraded the United States' creditworthiness for the first time in history. To allow for that scenario to occur once again would be an abject failure," the letter reads. "The American people would rightfully hold us all -- both the Congress and the White House -- accountable. It is time to engage in good faith negotiation that would lead to a resolution and prevent a replay of the 2011 standoff."
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., also called for negotiation, putting the onus on the president to compromise.
"The clock is ticking on this debt ceiling crisis and the American people will pay the economic price if President Biden continues to refuse to sit down and negotiate a commonsense compromise that would prevent a historic default," Manchin said in a statement. "Speaker McCarthy did his job and he passed a bill that would prevent default and finally begin to rein in federal spending. While I do not agree with everything proposed, it remains the only bill moving through Congress that would prevent default and that cannot be ignored."