“A lot of what they’ve already proposed is just, frankly, unacceptable,” Biden said. “It’s time for Republicans to accept that you can’t get to a bipartisan deal alone, only on your partisan terms. They have to move too.”
The talks have become increasingly heated over the past two days. Democratic and Republican negotiators said Friday’s meetings on Capitol Hill produced no progress. and the two parties did not meet on Saturday. Instead, each has once again characterized the other’s position as extremist.
“Unfortunately, the White House has backed down,” McCarthy told reporters late on Saturday.
The Democratic president said he believed he had the authority to invoke the 14th Amendment to raise the debt ceiling without Congress, but it was not clear there would be enough time left to try to use that unproven legal theory to avoid default. .
A source familiar with the negotiations said Republicans had proposed increasing defense spending while cutting overall spending. The source also said House Republicans wanted to extend tax cuts passed under then-President Donald Trump, which would add $3.5 trillion to the federal debt.
The source said the Biden administration had proposed keeping discretionary non-defense spending unchanged for next year.
Another person familiar with the talks said the latest Republican proposal included “steep” cuts over a longer period of time than recent budget deals, as well as a variety of measures that irritate Democrats, including job requirements for aid, cuts to food assistance and less money for the Internal Revenue Service.
The person said Republicans had also rejected measures proposed by Democrats to increase revenue, including drug payment reforms and closing “tax loopholes.”
Concern over default weighs on the markets. The United States was forced to pay record interest rates on a recent debt offering and concerns over a lack of deal weighed on US stocks on Friday.
Biden returns to Washington on Sunday after cutting short his trip to Asia to focus on debt ceiling talks.
The Republican-led House of Representatives last month passed a law that would cut a wide swath of public spending by 8% next year. Democrats say that would force average cuts of at least 22% in programs like education and law enforcement, a figure that top Republicans have not disputed.
With Republicans holding a slim majority in the House of Representatives and Democrats tight control of the Senate, no deal can pass without bipartisan support.
US Representative Patrick McHenry, the Republican negotiator, had said that Republican leaders were going to “get together as a team and assess” the situation.