Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez demanded Wednesday that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy should “concede” in negotiations over the debt ceiling.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy talked with President Joe Biden Monday, but failed to reach an agreement on lifting the debt ceiling. Republicans insist on spending cuts to accompany any increase in the limit to the national debt, which currently stands at $31.4 trillion, while Democrats have demanded no spending cuts or other legislative items be attached to any debt ceiling increase.
“The reason why anyone is asking anyone on this stage about what we would vote for is because Kevin McCarthy needs our votes, because Kevin McCarthy doesn’t have the votes,” Ocasio-Cortez said during a press conference. “Because Kevin McCarthy is going to the White House without a majority of his caucus. He does not have what is necessary to negotiate, and for any, any question about what anybody would settle for, he has responsibility to concede.”
The House of Representatives passed the Limit, Save, Grow Act April 26 by a 217-215 vote, which increases the debt ceiling by $1.5 trillion, repeals portions of the Inflation Reduction Act, requires Congress to approve regulations that have an economic effect of $100 million or more and establishes new work requirements for welfare programs. Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida explained his “no” vote in a tweet posted April 26 and linked to a statement, meaning 218 out of 222 Republicans in the House would vote for the measure.
“If he wants any Democratic support, he has to come to the table, and we have seen him over and over again say that he will not negotiate, that they are engaged in hostage taking, not negotiation. Extortion, not conversation,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
Some left-wing members of Congress are calling on Biden to invoke the 14th Amendment to unilaterally lift the debt ceiling rather than compromise with Republicans.
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