Republican congressional leaders said Thursday they are moving toward a deal with President Biden to raise the debt ceiling while cutting spending.
Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, left the Capitol Thursday evening, saying there was still no deal and that he and his negotiators planned to work through the weekend to find a solution.
“We’ve been talking to the White House all day, we’ve been going back and forth, and it’s not easy,” Mr. McCarthy said. “It’s going to take some time to get it done, and we’re working hard to get it done.”
Earlier he noted growing concerns among some far-right Republicans that their party is making too many concessions in speeches, saying, “I don’t think everybody’s going to be happy at the end of the day.”
Even the Democrats, Mr. They were anxious that Biden would go too far in accepting Republican demands, which include spending cuts and tougher job requirements on public welfare programs. They huddled in the Capitol to discuss the state of negotiations as House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Democrat of New York, prepared to work on convincing Democrats to vote for a deal many of them did not want.
At the White House, Mr. Biden sought to reassure markets and the public, noting that he and congressional leaders agreed “there will be no default.” But he said of House Republicans, the debt ceiling bill they passed last month that would have significantly reduced spending in exchange for raising the debt ceiling: “I will not agree to that.”
“Speaker McCarthy and I have very different views on who should shoulder the burden of additional efforts to put our fiscal house in order,” Mr. Biden said. “I don’t believe the entire burden will fall on the backs of middle-class and working-class Americans.”
Lawmakers were leaving Washington for the Memorial Day holiday, but members of Congress called for a return vote if a deal is reached.
Representative Patrick D. of North Carolina. McHenry, Mr. One of McCarthy’s key negotiators, he acknowledged that there are still “thorny issues” that need to be resolved, chief among them spending caps, which are a “difficult thing” for Democrats to accept.
“We have legislative work to do, policy work to do,” said Mr. McHenry said. “The details of those things are the result of actually being able to get this thing.”
“We don’t have an agreement yet, so until we have an agreement, I don’t think we’ll know what the coalition is going to look like to get it done,” said Rep. Dusty Johnson of South Dakota. McCarthy Associate. “But listen, Kevin McCarthy understands how conservative his conference is. He’s going to deliver a deal that will be accepted by the majority of his conference.
As negotiators neared a deal, hard-right Republicans, Mr. They openly expressed concern that McCarthy would sign a compromise they considered conservative enough. Many right-wing Republicans have already vowed to oppose any compromise that would back away from the cuts that were part of their debt ceiling bill, which would cut domestic spending by an average of 18 percent over a decade.
“Republicans should not cut a bad deal,” Rep. Chip Roy of Texas, an influential conservative, wrote on Twitter shortly after he told a local radio station that he “needs to have some blunt conversations with my colleagues and leadership.” team” because he didn’t like “the direction they were going”.
Representative Ralph Norman of South Carolina said he would reserve judgment on how to vote for the compromise until he saw the bill, but said “what I’ve seen right now is not good.”
Former President Donald J. Trump, too, weighs in on them. Mr. Mr. McCarthy told reporters about the negotiations. He said he spoke briefly with Trump — “It came down to a split second,” the spokesman said. “Make sure you get a good deal,” he was talking.
After teeing off at his golf course outside Washington, Mr. Trump approached a New York Times reporter, iPhone in hand, Mr. McCarthy showed the call.
“It’s going to be an interesting thing – it’s not going to be easy,” said Mr. Trump said, describing his call with the speaker as a “little, quick talk.”
“They’ve spent three years wasting money on crap,” he said, adding, “The Republicans don’t want to see that, so I understand where they’re at.”
Jim Tankersley, Luke Broadwater And Stephanie Loy Contributed report from Washington, et Alan Blinder From Sterling, Va.