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McCarthy Rules Out Repealing Tax Cuts for the Rich After White House Talks Fail to Secure Deal on Debt Ceiling

HeadlineMay 23, 2023

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy emerged from the White House Monday without a deal to raise the limit on the national debt. McCarthy’s high-stakes negotiations with President Biden came just 10 days before the U.S. faces a possible default on loans, with Republicans demanding sweeping cuts to social programs as the price of any deal to raise the U.S. debt ceiling. After the talks, McCarthy shrugged off a reporter’s question about whether Republicans would support rescinding the Trump-era tax cuts that overwhelmingly favor corporations and wealthy U.S. residents. 

Speaker Kevin McCarthy: “So the problem is not revenue. The problem is spending. … I simply believe, like any household, like any business, like any state government, when you’re this far out of whack, you have to spend less than you spent last year.”

Earlier this month, the Congressional Budget Office reported extending tax cuts passed in 2017 and signed by then-President Trump would add $3.5 trillion to the federal deficit through 2033. This is House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries: “They’ve taken revenues off the table. They don’t want to revisit the GOP tax scam, which exploded the debt by $2 trillion to subsidize the wealthy, the well-off and the well-connected. They said, 'No, we can't have a conversation about that, can’t have a conversation about revenue, can’t have a conversation about any policy changes that Democrats would like to have.’ Does that sound like a negotiation? Or is that a hostage-taking situation?”

Congressmember Jeffries said he’s open to a deal that would see federal spending frozen at current levels. Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus have rejected that idea and are calling on President Biden to invoke his authority to avert a debt default under the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.

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