Last week House Speaker Kevin McCarthy pulled the curtain back on his plan for over $4 trillion in spending cuts would be paired with a sizable increase to the debt ceiling.
Lawmakers need to raise the country’s debt limit in order to avoid defaulting on its debt.
The plan has, as you might expect, garnered partisan reactions with Democrats criticizing the spending cuts and most Republicans voicing support. Rep. Greg Pence of Indiana was among those against it at first.
“I was a ‘no’ until I sat down with Kevin (McCarthy) and talked about it,” Pence said. “I’m very supportive of his efforts. He’s worked very, very hard to move this ball forward and bring people to the table.”
It’s the “bring people to the table” part that will likely be a hang-up with McCarthy’s plan as President Biden has once again said he would not negotiate spending cuts attached to a plan to raise the debt ceiling. Biden has accused Republicans of pushing for cuts to Medicaid, Social Security, and other programs.
McCarthy’s plan has no cuts to speak of to any of those programs. Instead, it would cancel Biden’s student debt forgiveness plan, claw back unspent COVID relief money, and cut about 9-percent of government spending overall across a variety of other areas.
Pence is urging the White House to reconsider having conversations with House Republicans.
“Let’s sit down, let’s talk and figure out how to solve this problem,” he said. “They’re not serious. Let’s talk about this as real adults about solutions to these long term problems.”
Lawmakers have until June to raise the debt ceiling.
The problem is that spending cuts are easily reversed. A debt limit increase is forever.