Debt ceiling negotiations are getting a venue change Wednesday as House Republican negotiators head to the White House to work more on a deal.
“I’m sending our negotiation team down to the White House to try to finish up the negotiations with the White House,” Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told reporters.
The Speaker noted that “there’s a number of places we are still far apart,” but said, “I think we can make progress today — I’m hoping that we can make progress today.”
Pressed on whether there has been “appreciable progress” in the talks, citing his “finish up” comment, the Speaker said “there’s differences we know where it’s at” before underscoring the GOP’s position that spending must be at lower levels next year than where it is now.
More on the debt ceiling from The Hill:
- Key Republican urges McCarthy, GOP to ‘hold the line’ in debt ceiling talks
- Moody’s chief economist: ‘Everyone is going to get hurt’ if US defaults on debt
- Sanders calls on Biden to use 14th Amendment to raise debt ceiling
- 6 in 10 say spending cuts should accompany increase in debt ceiling: poll
- Democrats fume that White House isn’t demanding tax hikes from McCarthy in debt ceiling fight
White House negotiators Steve Ricchetti, Shalanda Young, and Louisa Terrell had been coming to the Capitol to meet with GOP negotiators Reps. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) and Garret Graves (R-La.). The GOP negotiators told reporters ahead of Wednesday’s meeting the White House invited them to talk.
At a White House briefing later in the afternoon, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the talks started around noon and were still underway as of about 2:45 p.m.
“We just felt it was time for a change. I wouldn’t read too much into the change of venue,” she said.
Republicans were pessimistic about the state of talks on Tuesday, saying there was a “significant gap” on items like reducing federal topline discretionary spending levels.
McCarthy on Wednesday also refused to entertain any proposals from the White House or publicly entertain any concessions like raising taxes or freezing spending at current levels, naming GOP proposals he said Democrats supported in the past.
“We’ve offered a lot of concessions. The cap on the spending is a Democrat idea,” McCarthy said. “The work requirement was a Democrat idea. I can’t help it if the Democrats have become so extreme and now is a party of Bernie Sanders than the party where Joe Biden was elected. Joe Biden is the president of the United States. He is the head Democrat. But if AOC and Bernie Sanders is going to run their party, that’s not my fault. I’m not even sure Bernie Sanders is a registered Democrat.”
Brett Samuels contributed. Updated at 2:48 p.m.