- Kevin McCarthy has agreed not to cut Social Security and Medicare in debt ceiling negotiations, Sen. Joe Manchin told reporters.
- Previously, cuts to those programs were on the table as the Republican Party negotiated the terms to increase the debt limit.
- Manchin, and even former President Trump, have urged the Republican Party to leave those programs alone.
This came after the two lawmakers met earlier today to raise the debt limit, an issue that Democratic and Republican lawmakers have been clashing over recently as they negotiate how to keep the US on top of paying its bills. .
A familiar source said that the meeting between Manchin and McCarthy was good, although without commitments; Manchin encouraged McCarthy to negotiate and try to find a way forward that would avoid harming the Americans.
The United States officially hit the debt limit last week, and President Joe Biden’s administration urged House Republicans to work in a bipartisan fashion to prevent the country from defaulting on its obligations and potentially triggering a global financial crisis and recession. . But Republicans have expressed their intention to use the debt limit increase as a bargaining chip to achieve their own priorities, and previous reports indicated they were considering cutting Medicare and Social Security benefits.
However, Manchin, who has been a centrist who has resisted some previous Democratic legislation, said Sunday that he did not believe Republicans should consider Medicare and Social Security in these negotiations.
“There are no cuts for anyone who is receiving their benefits, there are no adjustments to that. They have earned it. they paid. Get that off the table,” she said. “But everyone is using that as leverage.”
Even former President Donald Trump joined the dialogue, urging Republicans in a video message last week not to cut those programs.
“Under no circumstances should Republicans vote to cut a single penny from Medicare or Social Security,” Trump said in the video. “Eliminate waste, fraud and abuse wherever we can find it and there’s a lot, there’s a lot,” he continued. “But don’t reduce the benefits our seniors worked and paid for their entire lives. Let’s save Social Security, not destroy it.”
McCarthy has yet to comment publicly on his discussion with Manchin, but has previously said that reports of him considering cuts to those programs are untrue.
It is not yet clear what other types of cuts Republicans are considering in these negotiations. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told the Senate floor Monday that the GOP should reveal its intentions to the public, saying “Republicans are talking about draconian cuts, they have an obligation to show Americans what It’s those cuts and letting the public react.” …Does that mean cuts to Social Security or Medicare or child care or Pell Grants?”
Biden is expected to meet with McCarthy regarding these negotiations, but the exact date is not yet clear. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told House Republicans that the administration has begun using “extraordinary measures” to keep the country afloat, but those measures are expected to run out sometime this summer, meaning that the GOP must reach an agreement to avoid a catastrophic default.