What to Know in Washington: Biden Wants GOP Plan Before Easter
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President Joe Biden responded to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s demands that he begin negotiations over the debt ceiling by challenging Republicans to produce a public budget plan before departing Thursday for a two-week Easter recess.
The request — conveyed in a letter sent to McCarthy (R-Calif.) and posted by the White House to its social media channels — said that Republicans producing the plan would help lay the framework for an “in-depth conversation” once lawmakers returned in April.
“For that conversation to be productive, we should both tell the American people what we are for,” Biden said.
Biden did not explicitly say that he would be unwilling to meet McCarthy if Republicans refused to produce a budget, and White House aides also declined to make that threat earlier in the day.
Yet the White House is eager for GOP lawmakers to outline a proposal that could earn the approval of their narrow majority, believing such a plan would include cuts to politically popular government programs.
Republicans have said they would miss their previous deadline of mid April to produce a 10-year budget plan, blaming the White House for producing their document a month past the statutory deadline.
Earlier Tuesday, Biden indicated there would be little to discuss if Republicans did not release a full budget, and bristled at McCarthy’s suggestion that they begin talks on a list of spending cuts and regulatory changes outlined by Republicans.
“I don’t know what we’re going to meet on,” Biden told reporters before boarding Air Force One after speaking in Durham, North Carolina. “The deal was we each put down our own budget.” Erik Wasson and Justin Sink have the story.
Republicans are floating legislation that would ease energy permitting in exchange for raising the US debt ceiling, creating a potential path to avoid a default.
The White House is still insisting on a bill that simply raises the debt ceiling without conditions. But an agreement on energy permitting could benefit projects ranging from pipelines and oil refining to renewable power projects, making a deal attractive to both parties.
McCarthy wrote to Biden on Tuesday, proposing attaching to the debt ceiling bill “measures to lower energy costs, make America energy independent” in addition to previously requested cuts and caps to domestic discretionary spending. Wasson and Ari Natter have more.
Happening on the Hill
- The House gathers at 10 a.m. to continue consideration of a GOP energy package.
- The Senate convenes at 10 a.m. for vote on passage of measure to repeal the 1991 and 2002 authorizations of use of military force in Iraq.
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Elections, Politics & Probes
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Around the Administration
- Biden at 11:20 a.m. at the White House hosts the Summit for Democracy Virtual Plenary on Democracy Delivering on Global Challenges.
- At 2:45 p.m., Biden welcomes President Alberto Fernández of Argentina for a bilateral meeting.
- The president at 5 p.m. hosts a reception celebrating Greek Independence Day at the White House.
- At 1 p.m., White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre gives a briefing.
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