Joe Biden receives the chief of elected Republicans, a tense exchange in sight

The President of the United States accuses the opposition of extorting default. Kevin McCarthy, for his part, demands a reduction in taxes and public spending.

It is the political face-to-face at the beginning of the year in the United States. Joe Biden will host Kevin McCarthy, the new Republican leader of the House of Representatives, on Wednesday, February 1, for an exchange that promises to be tense over the budget and the US debt. The duel between the 80-year-old president and the painfully elected 58-year-old conservative Speaker of Parliament after several rounds of voting, has already begun with press releases and tweets interspersed.

In a memo distributed Tuesday, two White House advisers, Brian Deese and Shalanda Young, said Joe Biden had two questions for his interlocutor. Will he respectthe fundamental commitment that the United States will never default on its claims?“. When will House Republicans release their budget proposal?

More bluntly, the Democratic president summed up the terms of the conversation Monday: “Let him show me his budget, I’ll show him mine.Kevin McCarthy responded via Twitter, accusing the director of indulging in “political games.ยป

Blackmail for non-payment

The White House accuses the Republican leader of blackmailing the US into default without having a successful budget project. The world’s leading economic power, like almost all major economies, lives on credit. But unlike other developed countries, America regularly runs into a legal constraint: the debt ceiling.

Congress must regularly raise this famous “ceilingand usually does so without much debate, otherwise the US would not be able to pay its debts. This would send US and global finances into the unknown. During the Obama presidency, Republicans began to use this routine legislative procedure as an instrument of political pressure.

At the head of the new Republican majority in the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy has vowed not to write a blank check to Joe Biden, conditioning any increase in the debt ceiling on lower taxes and government spending, which he considers “out of control“.

“Raising the ceiling is a commitment”

However, he has not yet clarified in which areas these savings are to be intervened, and he has only stated that he does not intend to cut into the social systems, especially the pension and health insurance schemes for the elderly orSocial Security“and”Medicare“. The elected representative of California has to deal with very strong differences in his party, for example between Republicans who go to war and Trumpists who want to reduce military spending.

Raising the debt ceiling is not a negotiation, it is a commitment“, the advisers from the White House write in the elements of the language broadcast on Tuesday and blame the new “Speakernot backing up his demands for budget cuts.

McCarthy’s “Delusional Promises”

Kevin McCarthy is “a decent guy“Launched Joe Biden on Tuesday during a reception intended to raise money for the Democratic Party. But “he must have made crazy promisesto the most radical wing of the party to seize the gavel, which is the emblem of the head of the House of Representatives, analyzed the president.

Everything will depend on how Kevin McCarthy, who is anything but an ideologue, analyzes the political situation, after the rather disappointing right-wing election in November. Will he consider that it is in his interest to pose as an interlocutor, tough if necessary, of Joe Biden? Or will he lean towards a more uncompromising position?

According to a poll conducted in January and released Tuesday by the Pew Research Institute, a majority of Republicans (64%) believe their elected representatives in Congress should above all oppose the Democratic president, even if that means putting important decisions on behind. for the country. Compared to the previous survey conducted a year ago, the share of conservative voters who believe their party should instead negotiate with the Democratic president has increased from 26% to 34%.


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