CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – With a national debt that stands at $31 trillion, the U.S. is getting very close to not being able to pay its bills.
So, Congress and the White House are trying to forge a deal to raise the nation’s debt ceiling. Time is of the essence, as this could happen in two weeks.
Congress and the president want to raise the debt ceiling, so the government can borrow more money to pay its bills. But Republicans, especially in the House, want deep spending cuts, or they will block an increase in the debt limit.
Last week, President Biden suggested that might lead to reductions in Social Security and Medicare benefits, something that neither party wants.
“I haven’t heard anybody that’s going to basically harm Medicare and Social Security. Charlie, what we are talking about is discretionary spending. That’s non-discretionary spending,” said Sen. Joe Manchin, (R) West Virginia.
“There is no sentiment in the Senate, certainly not 60 votes, for a clean debt ceiling. So, there must be an agreement,” said Sen. Mitch McConnell, (R) Kentucky – Minority Leader.
President Biden and the Congressional leadership are set to meet at the White House for negotiations on Tuesday, but the most recent talks broke off without an agreement. The government will not be able to borrow any more money unless the two sides can make a deal before June 1.
“We should be negotiating in the annual budget process, with a House philosophy and a Senate philosophy and finding a compromise. That’s what we always do on budgets,” said Sen. Tim Kaine, (D) Virginia.
“We have a problem. We have a spending problem. And it’s just one more way that we throwing our country to the wall. It’s the wrong thing to do,” said Rep. Carol Miller, (R) West Virginia.
It’s likely at some point the White House and Congress will come to a deal. They have collectively raised the national debt limit 68 times since 1960.