McCarthy lays out path forward to debt limit when Congress returns politics

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy ushered in the next phase of the debt ceiling debate Monday as lawmakers returned to Washington from a two-week hiatus with a long to-do list.

In a speech at the New York Stock Exchange Monday morning, McCarthy relayed his party’s plan to use a looming debt limit deadline to cut spending, saying negotiations on raising the debt ceiling — which economists say would have disastrous results – an “opportunity to examine our nation’s finances.”

The California Republican outlined a plan that he said is fiscally responsible because “it limits, saves, and grows.”

“In the coming weeks, the House of Representatives will vote on legislation to raise the debt ceiling into next year, save taxpayers trillions of dollars, make us less dependent on China, curb our high inflation, and do it all without Social Security.” and touch Medicare.” He declared and pledged that Republicans would not allow the country to default on its debt.

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The bill would allow the country to meet its financial commitments by 2024. However, its details remain unclear. And finding the narrow majority vote to approve the measure without bipartisan support will prove difficult.

McCarthy took the opportunity Monday to slam President Joe Biden for refusing to negotiate the debt ceiling, adding that he had not heard from the White House since his first meeting with the president on the issue .

“Make no mistake: the longer President Biden waits to be sane to find an agreement, the more likely it is that his administration will stumble into the first default in our nation’s history,” McCarthy said, adding that a “non-binding” increase in the debt limit will not happen.

But the impasse appeared to persist on Monday, when the White House issued a statement reiterating its position that the debt limit should be raised without “recklessness” or “hostage-taking.”

McCarthy’s comments and Monday’s return come as House Republicans majority celebrate 100 days and in recent days announce their accomplishments to date. But some priorities remain.

The House of Representatives is expected to take up a handful of other issues this week, including a bill related to transgender athletes participating in women’s and girls’ sports, a bill to block a DC police law, and a resolution the recent shooting down of a US drone by the Russian military.

In the upper chamber, the return of the Senate this week appears to be shaped by who is back – and who is not.

Senator John Fetterman, a Democrat from Pennsylvania who was being treated for two months for clinical depression, is scheduled to return to the Capitol Monday, along with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky who was out for five weeks after being overthrown. But Senator Dianne Feinstein, who has been away since February while recovering from shingles, will not return to Washington this week, prompting frustration among some members of her party.

The California Democrat’s absence has hampered efforts to confirm Biden’s nominee for the judiciary, leading some to question whether she can continue to fulfill her duties as a member of the Senate and broader Senate Judiciary Committee. Last week, the 89-year-old revealed she had asked to temporarily step down from her role on the Judiciary Committee as she faced calls for her resignation from the upper chamber given her prolonged absence.

But Democrats would need the GOP’s approval to replace Feinstein on the committee because members are typically appointed to committees at the beginning of the legislative year, which threatens to complicate the situation and further delay their confirmation of judge appointments. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is expected to bring a resolution before the chamber this week to temporarily replace Feinstein with another Democrat on the committee. But a handful of Republicans have already pledged not to support the move.

Congress’ return comes after a couple of weeks of news amid the absence of lawmakers, including former President Donald Trump, who has pleaded not guilty to developments surrounding a case of medical abortion with serious nationwide repercussions and a leak of secret Pentagon Documents that shook the US federal government.

Hearings related to the developments were already underway Monday when the House Judiciary Committee convened in Manhattan for an on-site hearing focused on crimes committed under the supervision of the district attorney who brought the case against Trump . Further hearings on abortion and the leaked secret documents are expected in the near future.

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