WASHINGTON (Nexstar) – The United States is months away from being unable to pay military paychecks, government programs and the country’s debt, but Republicans say before they agree to raise the country’s debt limit, Democrats must agree to spending cuts.
Even though Democrats are warning of a potential catastrophe, Republicans say they won’t back down from their debt ceiling demands.
Congressman James Comer and Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy say Democrats need to agree to spending cuts before they agree to raise the debt limit.
“Let me say this, we will never default. That’s not going to happen. But I do think we do need to be serious about spending cuts,” Rep. James Comer (R-KY) said.
Meanwhile, McCarthy hopes to move toward a deal when he meets with President Biden on Wednesday.
“I want to look at every single dollar we’re spending,” McCarthy said.
But President Biden says the debt ceiling negotiations in 2011 hurt the economy and the country’s credit rating.
On Sunday, he also vowed to veto any deal that “guts” Social Security and Medicare as House Republicans say those programs will not be on the chopping block.
“We can cut spending without cutting Social Security and Medicare,” Rep. Comer said.
But Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) says restructuring is necessary, explaining, “dealing with things like entitlement programs that are going to become insolvent in the next few years.”
Democrats say they are happy to discuss other spending but insist the debt ceiling shouldn’t be held hostage.
“Republicans are being completely irrational about not paying the nation’s debt. You and I would have to pay our debt,” Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) said.