During an interview on Fox News, anchor Maria Bartiromo pressed McCarthy on whether he has enough votes for the bill that would suspend the debt limit until it rises by $1.5 trillion or until March 31, 2024 — whichever comes first — in exchange for spending cuts and commitments aimed at fostering economic growth.
“We do have a very small majority, only five seats, one of the smallest we have ever had,” McCarthy said on “Sunday Morning Futures.” He shrugged off talk about a handful of Republican members opposing the measure, saying, “I cannot imagine someone in our conference that would want to go along with [President Joe] Biden’s reckless spending.”
McCarthy said “everybody’s had input” during the months-long process of putting the legislation together, but he warned there would be people who do not get “100%” of what they want. He also accused Biden of refusing to negotiate for the roughly 80 days since they last held talks on the issue in early February.
The White House and top Democrats in Congress so far are refusing to consider the House GOP proposal, instead pushing for a “clean” debt ceiling bill separate from any spending cuts or any policy concessions.
In a speech on Wednesday, Biden warned, “MAGA Republicans in Congress are threatening to default on the national debt … unless I agree to all these wacko notions they have.”
Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) told “Fox News Sunday” that she was not sure McCarthy has the 218 votes needed to pass the debt ceiling proposal in the House, pointing to some of the provisions in the 320-page bill.
“I don’t think there are some Republicans that want a vote to cut education, reduce veterans spending by 22%,” she said. “That’s going to hurt veterans’ health care. It’s going to hurt Meals on Wheels. It’s going to hurt cancer research. It’s going to hurt law enforcement, first responders.”
Time is of the essence, as experts have warned of a default this summer that could cripple the U.S. economy. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen notified Congress in January that the United States had crossed the statutory limit of roughly $31.4 trillion and advised that her agency take “extraordinary measures” so the government could continue to pay its bills, but only in the short term.
McCarthy said the House would hold a vote this coming week. “We will pass it, and we will send it to the Senate,” he added.
Though the upper chamber is narrowly controlled by Democrats, McCarthy suggested that House Republicans will have momentum in their favor by passing a bill.
“When we send this to the Senate, we’re showing that, yes, we’re able to raise the debt ceiling into the next year, but what we’re doing is, we’re being responsible, fiscally, and bringing our house back in order,” he said. “It doesn’t solve all of our problems, but it gets us on the right path. And this gets us to the negotiating table, just as government and America expects us to do so.”