House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R–Calif.) on Monday claimed that Democrats and the White House were more interested in a potential default than a deal as negotiations over the debt ceiling continue.
“It seems like they want a default more than a deal,” McCarthy said as he walked into his office Monday, accusing the Biden administration of not taking the negotiations seriously.
McCarthy‘s assessment is a stark contrast from the White House, which has been signaling progress in the talks. Treasury Department Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that debt ceiling negotiations have been “constructive.”
McCarthy noted that a deal must be reached by the weekend in order to avoid the country defaulting on its obligations. Treasury Department Secretary Janet Yellen warned earlier this month that the nation could default on its obligations as soon as June 1 if Congress does not act to raise the limit, leading to severe economic consequences.
House Republicans have outlined four areas of compromise in the debt limit talks, including implementing spending caps, permitting reform for energy projects, implementing new work requirements on benefit programs, and clawing back unused funds appropriated to combat the effects of COVID–19.
McCarthy claimed that President Biden has not taken the negotiations seriously. The Senate is scheduled to leave town for two weeks after this week, and the House is scheduled to be out during the week of Memorial Day. Biden will depart on a trip to Japan and Australia that will stretch into next week.
McCarthy‘s comments come as the divide between Republicans and Democrats regarding the debt ceiling continues to widen. Both sides have yet to reach a deal, and time is quickly running out. It remains to be seen if a deal can be reached before the looming deadline.