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Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) delivered remarks at the New York Stock Exchange on Monday morning that warned of the brewing debt ceiling showdown and torched President Joe Biden for being unwilling to work toward a solution.
McCarthy pointed out that the economic woes facing Americans today are the result of "two short years" in which President Biden and Democrats in Congress added trillions of dollars to the nation's debt and undermined programs such as Social Security and Medicare.
“We are seeing, in real-time, the effects of reckless government spending," McCarthy said in New York. "Record inflation, and the hardships it causes, rising interest rates, supply chain shortages, instability in the banking system, and uncertainty across the board."
The House Speaker who just marked 100 days of leading the 118th Congress said, "unlike President Biden, I don't dismiss Americans' fears about higher prices. I share them," McCarthy said. "And I share their conviction that we must change course before it's too late."
Turning to the debt ceiling specifically, McCarthy called it a "debate that's not happening in Washington but should be happening" because it "directly affects the lives of every American."
McCarthy said he still hasn't heard from the White House on the subject since he had an initial meeting with the president. "Biden has been missing in action and misleading the public," McCarthy explained before addressing Biden directly. "Mr. President, with all due respect, enough is enough."
Contrasting the president's current inaction with then-Senator Biden's words, McCarthy pointed out that a leader can't govern without negotiating.
To quote Vice President Biden from the 2011 debt limit talks: “you can’t govern” without negotiating.
What changed, Mr. President?
I agree with the former, sensible Joe Biden; I wish the current, extreme Joe Biden would listen to him too. pic.twitter.com/REeEWWeHQ8
"This is not how the leader of the free world should act," McCarthy continued of Biden's refusal to do anything or show a willingness to find a compromise. "Your partisan political games are provoking the very crisis you claim you want to avoid: greater dependency on China, increasing inflation, and threatening Medicare and Social Security." McCarthy noted.
McCarthy was clear that "defaulting on our debt is not an option," but said the tax-and-spend norm established by Biden would not be allowed to stand either. "A no-strings-attached debt limit increase will not pass," the House Speaker warned. "Since the president continues to hide, House Republicans will take action," McCarthy said.
That action, McCarthy explained includes raising the debt limit to avoid a default, limiting spending to 2022 levels to "prune" bureaucracy, "claw back" taxpayer dollars from wasteful programs, and "grow the economy so we stop being dependent on China."
Here's the plan:
The House will vote on a bill to lift the debt ceiling into next year, save taxpayers trillions of dollars, make us less dependent on China, and curb high inflation—all without touching Social Security or Medicare. pic.twitter.com/yCE9WvFb0R
"We owe it to the American people to use this moment in history to deliver the future they want, they need, and they deserve," McCarthy said. "I have full confidence that, if we limit our federal spending, if we save the taxpayer money, if we grow our economy, yes we will end the dependence on China, we will curve inflation, and we will protect Social Security and Medicare for the next generation — and America will be stronger for it."
McCarthy called on more lawmakers and economic leaders to join the House GOP in demanding a "reasonable negotiation" from the White House. "We've been patient," McCarthy said of his House colleagues, but warned that Biden's current posture is one that will see him "bumble into a default" on the nation's debt.