© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the Capitol, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023, in Washington, as Vice President Kamala Harris applauds. Jacquelyn Martin/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – If U.S. President Joe Biden were to be presented with Republican House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s spending and debt bill, he would veto it, the White House said on Tuesday.
McCarthy floated a plan last week that would pair $4.5 trillion in spending cuts with a $1.5 trillion increase in the $31.4 trillion U.S. debt limit. He has said the House would vote on his bill this week and has also invited Biden to discuss the debt ceiling with him.
“House Republicans must take default off the table and address the debt limit without demands and conditions,” the White House said on Tuesday.
On Thursday, President Joe Biden promised to reject a potential debt relief bill from House Speaker Kevin McCarthy if it was passed by Congress. The bill in question, which was proposed by McCarthy, is meant to provide relief for Americans who are struggling financially due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The White House released a statement on Thursday citing that the bill, though well-intentioned, did not go far enough to help Americans in need and that President Biden would not support any relief package that did not include more direct payments to individuals and families. The statement went on to say that the president was committed to helping the most vulnerable and that he would not accept a bill that did not meet that standard.
McCarthy’s bill would provide assistance to those with student loans, provide assistance to small businesses and make modifications to the Paycheck Protection Program. The bill was hailed by Republicans as a good start to stalled negotiations on the coronavirus relief package but Biden argued that it was inadequate and would not be enough to meet the needs of the nation in its current state.
The White House remained adamant that the relief package should include direct payments of $1,400 per person as well as providing more aid to state and local governments. President Biden also noted that while there are some helpful measures in McCarthy’s bill, they will not suffice and more needs to be done.
It remains unclear whether McCarthy’s bill will pass Congress but the president’s statement makes it clear that he will reject it even if it does. Republicans in the House are hoping to make some changes to the proposal in order to make it more palatable for Biden but it’s uncertain if that will work.
For now, the White House shall remain dedicated to getting the best deal possible for the American people and President Biden has reiterated that he will veto any package that does not meet his expectations in regards to providing direct aid to the most vulnerable.