WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill are still on two separate pages when it comes to a debt ceiling, as the June 1 deadline looms.
With just over a week left to avoid potential economic catastrophe, a deal to raise the debt ceiling has not been reached.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told reporters Wednesday that Republicans’ goal has not changed.
“You have to spend less than you spent last year. That’s not that difficult to do,” McCarthy said. “We have the highest debt than we ever had before. I just don’t think that’s right.”
Democrats called cuts to the country’s welfare programs like Medicaid and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program “inhumane.”
“We will not let that stand,” said Rep. Greg Casar, D-Texas.
On Wednesday, leaders of the House Progressive Caucus slammed McCarthy’s refusal to compromise and raise taxes on wealthy Americans and businesses.
“They’re not negotiating at all,” said Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash.
To avoid defaulting on the country’s debt, the group called on at least five House Republicans to break from their party and simply raise the debt ceiling with Democrats.
“That could happen tomorrow,” Jayapal said.
But the chances are slim. Ultimately, the president and McCarthy must agree on spending cuts that both parties can support.
“Averting default is the responsibility of every member of Congress,” said White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
The White House and McCarthy vowed to avoid a default.
“We’re talking about millions of jobs lost, devastated retirement accounts and a recession,” Jean-Pierre said.
The White House would not say when the two leaders would meet again, but Republican negotiators returned to the White House Wednesday to continue talks.