Today it seems there will be no deal on the debt ceiling – GOP negotiators called for a ‘pause’ in talks.
That’s a real shame, for sure.
It will take compromise in Washington between Democrats and Republicans to resolve the debt-ceiling fight, but some lawmakers do not want to give an inch.
Debt Talks: What Is Happening
The New York socialist said giving in to Republican’s desire for budget cuts would be “profoundly destructive.”
What Is at Stake?
June 1 is the deadline for Congress and the president to agree on a way to avoid a disastrous default and a government shutdown.
The House of Representatives has passed a bill in their Republican-led chamber that would raise the debt ceiling to last until March of 2024.
But Democrats have balked at the measure to create $4.5 trillion in budget reductions.
President Joe Biden has said these spending cuts are untenable and he will not accept a deal that includes trimming the budget and addressing the debt until Republicans agree to raise the debt ceiling first.
Even then, Biden and Democrats are loath to cut spending on favored government programs such as SNAP food benefits and policies to fight climate change.
Progressives like AOC are extolling the president to hold the line. AOC told Axios that Biden should “expect pushback on nearly any significant concession. This is not an appropriate vehicle … I don’t think we should normalize such destructive tactics.”
Other progressive lawmakers said that giving in to Republican demands would damage core Democratic values and that doing so would create a huge backlash among those on the left.
Work Requirements for Entitlement Programs
Biden appears to be listening to those concerns.
GOP lawmakers want to make some SNAP payments contingent on work requirements — something that the White House believes is a non-starter.
“The House Republican wish list would put a million older adults at risk of losing their food assistance and going hungry,” Biden wrote on Twitter earlier this week. “Rather than push Americans into poverty, we should reduce the deficit by making sure the wealthy and large corporations pay their fair share in taxes.”
However, Biden is open to allowing a claw-back of unspent pandemic funds that could revert back to the Treasury and help trim the deficit.
He and his staff were negotiating to reform the process of oil drilling permits.
This has made climate change warriors worried that more oil will be pumped, leading to environmental damage and global warming.
As far as work requirements on entitlement programs are concerned, Biden may be open to some changes to Temporary Assistance to Needy Families that would restrict recipients unless they looked for work.
He signaled this on May 17, which shocked some House Democrats who thought that the work requirement issue was going to remain hard and fast and not open to discussion.
House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries has said what the Republicans want to do with entitlements is “entirely unreasonable.”
What Happens Now?
However, no one wants a default, and while it looks like there are some sticking points, both parties are likely to iron things out before the deadline.
Talks will likely go into the eleventh hour, though, and both sides will have to give and take on some aspects of what they are calling for now.
Biden is an experienced negotiator, as is Mitch McConnell. They were senators during other debt ceiling crises, and they have found a way to get the deal done in the end.
Expect more political theater and harsh words, though. Both the left and the right appear to be at each other’s throats. Let’s hope both sides mellow out in the next two weeks.
Author Expertise and Experience
Serving as 19FortyFive’s Defense and National Security Editor, Dr. Brent M. Eastwood is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and Foreign Policy/ International Relations.