McCarthy Renews Call for Spending Cuts as Debt Talks Resume at White House

With a potential federal default just over a week away, Speaker Kevin McCarthy renewed his call on Wednesday for President Biden and congressional Democrats to accept spending cuts in exchange for raising the debt limit and allowing the Treasury Department to avoid missing payments.

“You have to spend less than you spent last year,” Mr. McCarthy said at a news conference in the Capitol as Biden administration and Republican negotiators gathered at the White House. “That is not that difficult to do. But in Washington, somehow that is a problem.”

The administration has tried to hold the line against cuts and instead push for a freeze on current spending levels, but Mr. McCarthy has made reductions in domestic programs a central demand in the negotiations. With Republicans insisting against cuts to defense or veterans’ programs, the brunt of the reductions would affect social programs that Democrats favor.

Despite a series of regular meetings, negotiators have reported little progress on the substance of any agreement. Still, Mr. McCarthy continued to express hope that a deal could be reached before the June 1 deadline.

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