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U.S. debt limit solution must come from Biden, McCarthy

Any agreement to address the U.S. debt ceiling and avoid a first-ever default by Washington will have to come from President Joe Biden and House
of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy, the top Senate Republican said on Tuesday.

January 25, 2023
25 January 2023

WASHINGTON, Jan 24 (Reuters) – Any agreement to address
the U.S. debt ceiling and avoid a first-ever default by
Washington will have to come from President Joe Biden and House
of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy, the top Senate
Republican said on Tuesday.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has played an
integral role in debt ceiling negotiations in the past,
predicted that no solution formulated by the Democratic-led
Senate is likely to win approval from the House, which
Republicans control by a slim margin.

“In this current situation, the debt ceiling fix – if there
is one, or how it’s to be dealt with – will have to come out of
the House,” McConnell told reporters.

House Republicans want to exact spending cuts from Biden in
exchange for a deal on the debt ceiling. But the White House has
repeatedly rejected negotiations over spending cuts, arguing
that Congress has an obligation to increase the borrowing limit
and avoid a default and the possibility of economic chaos.

“It’s entirely reasonable for the new speaker and his team
to put spending reduction on the table. I wish him well in
talking to the president. That’s where a solution lies,”
McConnell said.

“I can’t imagine any debt ceiling provision passed out of
the Senate with 60 votes could actually pass this particular
House,” he added.

Biden and McCarthy have agreed to meet to talk about the
debt ceiling and other issues. But no meeting has been
scheduled.

McConnell spoke days after the U.S. government hit its $31.4
trillion borrowing limit, prompting the Treasury to begin
extraordinary measures that could stave off a default until
early June. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has called on
Congress to move quickly to address the borrowing limit.
(Reporting by David Morgan and Katharine Jackson; Editing by
Leslie Adler and Deepa Babington)

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