Discussions in Congress over the debt ceiling and government spending can include everything but cuts to Social Security and Medicare, Republicans are saying.
Republicans say they would not cut Social Security and Medicare programs but “everything else is on the table” in talks over raising U.S. government borrowing limits.
House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer said that the government needs to shore up the Social Security and Medicare programs, as they are running out of money.
Everything else is on the table to be slashed, Comer said.
The U.S. government neared its $31.4 trillion debt ceiling earlier this month, prompting the Treasury to warn that it may not be able to stave off default past early June.
The debt ceiling is one of the most divisive issues in Congress right now.
As the deadline looms, Republican lawmakers and President Joe Biden are locked in a disagreement over the path to raising the borrowing limit.
Biden says he would not negotiate over raising it, while Republicans say they would not agree to raise it without spending concessions.
Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the House speaker, called on President Biden to agree to compromises and spending cuts, as the two remain deadlocked over raising the nation’s $31.4 trillion debt ceiling.
The standoff between Biden and McCarthy is one of the most prominent over the debt limit.
The White House has said Biden will discuss federal spending cuts with Republicans, but only after the debt ceiling is lifted, while McCarthy has said Republicans will only lift the ceiling if Biden agrees to spending cuts. While the two sides disagree on the order of the subjects they are tackling, both say they will continue to talk.
Biden’s administration said that lawmakers should not be using the debt limit as a “bargaining chip.”
Despite what appears to be a standoff, McCarthy emerged from a meeting with Biden last week saying he believed the two could find common ground.