House Republican leaders on Thursday signaled that they were making progress toward a bipartisan deal with President Joe Biden to raise the debt ceiling, but warned that a potential agreement would require a level of compromise likely to disappoint both parties.
Speaking to reporters at the Capitol, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said that negotiators had worked “well past midnight” and would continue to meet until they find a resolution to avert a default on the nation’s debt ahead of the projected June 1 deadline. But he said there are still “outstanding issues” holding up the negotiations.
“I don’t think everybody is going to be happy at the end of the day,” McCarthy said about members of his party worried he will make too many concessions in the final deal. “That’s not how this system works.”
At the same time, anxiety has been growing in some Democratic circles that Biden would go too far in accepting Republican demands. The two sides remain at odds over a GOP proposal to cut spending by imposing tougher work requirements for federal aid programs and introducing caps on future spending. Negotiators have been at an impasse over how much the federal government should spend next year and for how long to cap spending after that, with Republicans demanding a 1% cap on annual spending for six years while the White House has signaled it would agree to freeze discretionary spending next year and increase spending by 1% in fiscal year 2025.
Rep. Patrick McHenry of North Carolina, a key McCarthy ally who has been a part of the negotiations, said he does not expect a deal will be made on Thursday, adding that there are still “thorny issues” yet to be resolved. “We have legislative work to do, policy work to do,” he said. “The details of all that stuff really are consequential to us being able to get this thing through.”
Republicans Tout Progress on Debt Ceiling Negotiations | Time