President Joe Biden is attempting to restart negotiations to raise the debt limit that descended into deadlock while he attended the Group of Seven summit in Japan. The talks have been marred by GOP demands for significant spending cuts, which have been rejected by the White House as Republican lawmakers refuse to work with alternative deficit reduction suggestions. The situation has a short time limit and must be resolved by June 1st to maintain the current level of borrowing.
Biden has maintained a positive front in the face of the stonewalling of negotiations while the Republican camp insists on deep cuts to childcare, health assistance, education and food programmes. The Republicans have also proposed cuts on IRS funding and asked for provisions from the proposed immigration plan. According to press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, the proposals from the Republican camp and language of their demands have been so extreme that they will only find minority support.
The White House and its team are prepared to meet any time, although the Republican leadership appears to have buckled under the pressure from their extremist wing, which is holding the talks to ransom to prioritize their political points. Republicans are now focused on getting the president’s attention instead of making substantive negotiations.
Biden is in Japan for a meeting of the world’s most powerful democracies and has spent significant time on the phone staying up-to-date with negotiations. Biden has attempted to reassure the rest of the world that the US will not default on its payments, which would likely disrupt the global economy. The deadline for resolving the deadlock is now fast approaching, having already been postponed for months.
Should a deal be done, it’s expected it will include some spending cuts, clawing back some unspent COVID-19 funds, and implementing work requirements on government aid recipients. It is essential to get the support of both Republicans and Democrats for it to be passed into law. Many House Republicans are unlikely to vote for anything, and Biden is under pressure from Democrats, particularly progressives who feel the spending cuts suggested fall too heavily on domestic programs that everyday Americans depend on.