Washington, D.C. – Today, at a bicameral press conference standing alongside Congressional Republicans, Speaker Kevin McCarthy called out President Biden for waiting until 15 days before the debt ceiling deadline to start negotiating a responsible debt limit increase. The Speaker urged President Biden to avoid being the first President to default on the national debt.
“Every week I would ask that we just sit down, but [President Biden] said no. The difference was Republicans in the House and the Senate got together to listen to the American public, and we said we would make sure that we don’t have a Biden default,” said Speaker McCarthy. “United together, we are standing with the American people.”
Remarks as delivered are below or you may watch online here.
“This is a special press conference. I don’t think the entire time I’ve been Speaker have we ever had a bicameral press conference.
“But today we are because it is a special occasion. It is a special issue.
“Because 105 days ago, today, I finally had gotten the meeting with the President in the Oval Office.
“On February 1, I sat with the President. I said we should work on the debt ceiling.
“The last thing I want to have happen, Mr. President, [that] we’d be in the last week and trying to negotiate the debt ceiling.
“Let’s sit down in a sensible, responsible way.
“Because our debt has gotten too large, Mr. President, even as Senator, you voted no on many of these debt ceilings because you said you were upset that there wasn’t enough savings.
“I’ve watched far back in 2010, the Chairman of Joint Chiefs, when our debt was only $14 trillion, told the American public the greatest threat to America was not China, it was not Russia, it was our debt.
“It has more than doubled [since then.]
“Our debt is larger than our economy by more than 20%.
“If we do nothing, we will pay more in interest in the next 10 years, than we paid in the last 83.
“If we do nothing and you follow along, God forbid you get a Biden default.
“Because he ignores the problem just as [he] ignored the border. I said: ‘Mr. President, could we start our meeting?’
“For 104 days, he said no. All the Democrats lined up and said no we just need to raise it.
“Because they added $6 trillion, we had inflation harming every single family.
“They attacked the energy of America.
“We saw the price even go higher.
“We saw we became more dependent upon China, [and] a supply chain challenge in America.
“Every week I would ask that we just sit down, but he said no.
“The difference was Republicans in the House and the Senate got together to listen to the American public.
“And we said we would make sure that we don’t have a Biden default. So we raised the debt ceiling, but in doing so, we did it to limit, save, and grow. To limit the future ability of Congresses to just spend wildly and stop the inflation.
“We said let’s start with spending what we spent just five months ago and grow each year by one percent.
“Let’s save the hardworking taxpayers money in this waste and money that you have appropriated that hasn’t been spent like COVID that has sat there for two years.
“We finally got the President to sign a bill declaring the pandemic is over. You know what else, let’s grow our economy so we’re not dependent upon China.
“Let’s help people get lifted out of poverty into jobs with work requirements, something the President as a senator voted [for], and President Clinton signed into law.
“Let’s make sure we could build things in America again.
“Let’s cut the red tape.
“Let’s get some permitting reform that we know we can make America stronger and less dependent on China if we pass that bill.
“Had we not passed that bill the meeting never would have taken place.
“Yesterday was a change.
“Yesterday, united with the Republicans in the House and the Republicans in the Senate who stood up and said they would no longer go along with the idea that you would just raise the debt limit and borrow money for China to provide to people not to work.
“United together, we are standing with the American people.
“This is exactly what every household does in America. [What] every business and every state capitol has to do.
“A debt ceiling is the equivalent of your child having a credit card. And for the last 21 years, this child has spent all the money up to the limit and all you have done is raise the debt ceiling.
“Well. now. it’s become a real problem. Because you owe more on the card than you make all year, and another 20%.
“So is it wrong? Is it not reasonable? Before you lift you’re responsible for paying what was spent.
“But should you first look at how you’re spending your money. That’s exactly what we’re doing with Limit, Save, Grow.
“Now, the President and Leader Schumer, have finally backed off their idea that they won’t negotiate.
“They finally backed off the insane and unrational, unsensible idea that you just raise the debt ceiling.
“The President selected two individuals, OMB [Director Young] and Ricchetti to sit down with us.
“But our timeline is short.
“This is what I wanted to avoid 105 days ago, and when the Republicans in the House lifted the debt ceiling, Secretary Yellen had never told us the deadline was June 1.
“We wanted to act ahead of time and we do that issue after issue.
“Just like the president avoided the border with Title 42, the House Republicans did not.
“We actually passed the bill to secure our border. We continue to listen to the American public.
“And I will tell you as Speaker, we have a group of Republicans in the Senate that have listened to the American people as well.
“[The] Senator from Wyoming, Senator Barasso, has helped lead the charge with Mitch McConnell with Thune, and all the others, and Senator Lee who put a letter together.
“I remember when he talked to me to get enough signatures. I was worried for one moment, could we get enough signatures?
“He called me back, I think in an hour, and said I’ve got more than enough and I got people didn’t sign it, but will they will still vote that way because they’re listening to the American public.
“And I can’t tell you enough, how thankful I am.
“We’ve been so responsible with the idea.
“Am I optimistic?
“I’m optimistic for America because the people standing behind me. I’m optimistic of our ability to work together.
“Do we have obstacles?
“Yes, we have a big obstacle in the White House.
“But we’re going to change the course of history, because we’re going to stand for the American public.”