President Joe Biden changed his mind about negotiations over the debt ceiling again as the United States moves closer to a potential default. The president announced that he was not willing to negotiate with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).
Biden said that he told the California Republican, “here’s the deal: take the debt limit, pass it like you did three times when Trump was president, and he increased the whole national debt for 200 years by 40%.”
The president was asked by MSNBC about former President Trump’s willingness to negotiate over the debt ceiling. Biden’s reaction was to claim that the economy was doing poorly under his predecessor and that now, “things are moving.”
The president has given mixed signals as the debt limit approaches. Biden called McCarthy an “honest man.”
He also criticized the Republican leader’s willingness to work with what he called “MAGA Republicans,” who the president said “have put him in a position where in order to stay speaker he has to agree” to “extreme” measures.
The president also put the onus regarding the debt ceiling on McCarthy, saying last month that “if he fails, the American people will be devastated.”
Last week, the president offered to negotiate with Republican leaders, including McCarthy. Talks over the debt ceiling will take place on May 9, including McCarthy, Biden and other congressional leaders.
The House of Representatives passed a debt ceiling increase that includes a number of spending cuts and canceling a large amount of unspent pandemic funds.
The president received criticism over his ability to negotiate any potential increase to the debt ceiling.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said that the president’s “mental faculties are too diminished right now to do what he did in 2011, to sit down and actually work together on a solution to the problems.”
— Fox News (@FoxNews) May 6, 2023
The president’s change of mind may have major implications for the economy. A default could reduce confidence in the federal government’s ability to fulfill contracts and pay its debts.