Biden and McCarthy scramble to sell debt deal to hard-liners

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC) – President Biden and House Speaker McCarthy have been trying to sell their debt ceiling plan to skeptical lawmakers in both parties, urging them to support the bipartisan deal that would raise the nation’s debt limit while cutting spending before the upcoming deadline.

With six days until the U.S. runs out of money to pay its bills, Biden and McCarthy are racing to shore up support for their bipartisan budget deal that would suspend the nation’s borrowing limit through early 2025 while cutting federal spending.

With the House back in session Tuesday, the president appears optimistic the bill will reach his desk by next Monday’s deadline averting a disastrous default.

President Biden said, “There’s no reason why it shouldn’t get done by the 5th.”

But some House Democrats said they have concerns about the 99-page bill, including new work requirements for some recipients of the SNAP food assistance program.

Representative Debbie Dingell (D-MI) told MSNBC, “We are being held hostage. That is a very real word for where we are right now. There are things I would never vote for under normal circumstances.”

The president asked what he would say to those skeptical Democrats. He said, “Talk to me.”

Biden and senior White House staffers are working the phones to sell the deal to fellow Democrats. Meanwhile, some conservative Republicans argue the bill’s spending cuts aren’t deep enough.

During an interview with Fox News, Representative Chip Roy (R-TX) said, “We’re just barreling towards an infinite amount of debt. And we’ve got to stop that.”

It’s a sentiment echoed by GOP presidential candidate Ron DeSantis. He said, “Our country was careening towards bankruptcy. And after this deal, our country will still be careening towards bankruptcy.”

But House Republican leaders disagree, calling the agreement an important step forward.

Representative Dusty Johnson (R-SD) said, “It’s time for the big boys and the big girls to step up and realize that we can’t let perfect be the enemy of the good and that we’ve got to get this done now.”

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