Republican debt limit negotiator says there’s no chance they’ll trade job requirements for welfare benefits

Leading GOP negotiator Garret Graves said “hell no” when asked Friday about Republicans potentially giving in to calls for stricter labor requirements for receiving benefits under a debt ceiling agreement.

‘No way. No way. “Not a chance, it’s not happening,” the Louisiana Republican told reporters, championing a demand many in the Democratic caucus say they will reject at all costs.

“Democrats are currently willing to default on their debt so they can continue to pay welfare to people who refuse to work,” he said.

“We continue to have major issues where we haven’t bridged the gap,” the negotiator said as he jumped in a car and drove to the White House — not for debt negotiations, but to join President Biden on the Louisiana State University women’s basketball team to celebrate .

He said he will return to the Capitol after the celebration to dive back into the debt talks.

Leading GOP negotiator Garret Graves said

Leading GOP negotiator Garret Graves said “hell no” when asked Friday about the possibility of Republicans giving in to calls for tougher labor requirements on Social Security

Fellow top negotiator Patrick McHenry told reporters on his way to the speaker’s office that no face-to-face meetings between House Republican negotiators and White House negotiators Steve Ricchetti and Shalanda Young are scheduled for Friday.

Graves, along with Rep. Patrick McHenry, RN.C., led Speaker McCarthy's debt negotiations with the White House

Graves, along with Rep. Patrick McHenry, RN.C., led Speaker McCarthy’s debt negotiations with the White House

Graves had said the day before that the White House refused to negotiate job demands.

Both the Progressive Caucus and the Congressional Black Caucus have warned President Biden not to back down on tightening work requirements for programs like SNAP and TANF and Medicaid.

The partisan debt limit and spending cut bill, the Limit Save Grow Act, passed by Republicans last month, increased work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP — also known as food stamps) to 20 hours a week for people between those ages of 50 and 56 years. The current program has such requirements only for those aged 18-49 who are able to work and have no dependents.

It would also limit the number of exemptions states could make to the requirements.

According to SNAP, the Republican proposal would save $11 billion over 10 years.

According to the bipartisan Congressional Budget Office, creating new labor requirements for Medicaid would yield the largest savings from Republican labor proposals — $109 billion over the next decade — although the White House is most opposed to setting labor requirements on that program.

Meanwhile, Speaker Kevin McCarthy is under pressure from his faction’s right.

He insisted to reporters on Friday that he was “not at all concerned” about warnings from Conservative members of his group because they “don’t know what’s in the deal”.

Earlier this week, 35 members of the House Freedom Caucus circulated a letter to the GOP conference urging McCarthy to “walk the line” and not water down the Limit Save Grow Act in talks with the White House.

This bill would increase the debt ceiling by $1.5 trillion in exchange for savings of $4.5 trillion by capping spending in 2024 at fiscal 2022 levels. In addition, growth will be limited to one percent per year for ten years.

“You’re talking to people who don’t know what’s in the deal.” So I’m not worried about anyone commenting on what they think is or isn’t in the deal right now,” McCarthy said when asked after grumbling from the opposition within his conference.

“If you’re wondering about keeping the line where we’ve been all along, we don’t want to meet that deadline.” “We’ve wanted to resolve this for months in advance.”

McCarthy said he believes “progress” was made overnight on the debt talks, although both sides are still at odds on the biggest part: the level of spending.

“I thought we made some progress last night. “We need to make more progress now,” McCarthy told reporters as they headed to the Capitol.

He said he was meeting with his chief negotiator, MP Garret Graves, for a morning bike ride.

“It’s about spending.” “Democrats never want to stop,” McCarthy said.

In 2011, the country faced a similar crisis under former President Barack Obama, who also faced a Republican House of Representatives opposed to raising the ceiling.

Although the ceiling was raised, the threat of default was enough to roil US financial markets and the country’s credit rating was subsequently downgraded to AA+ from AAA.

Spokesman Kevin McCarthy said he believes

Spokesman Kevin McCarthy said he believes “progress” was made overnight on debt talks, although the two sides are still at odds on the biggest part: the level of spending

Graves and McHenry were seen re-entering the Speaker’s office on Friday morning.

The two sides still haven’t agreed on a maximum amount for increasing the country’s credit ceiling.

President Biden travels to Camp David on Friday before spending the weekend at his home in Delaware. The White House insists he can negotiate by phone from anywhere.

“We’re here night after night. The pressure is greater, the consequences are greater. We recognize that. “The White House should recognize that,” said McHenry, North Carolina.

Reporters crowd around the speaker, desperate for any news about the upcoming deal that could prevent a catastrophic default

Reporters crowd around the speaker, desperate for any news about the upcoming deal that could prevent a catastrophic default

Bloomberg reports the two sides are nearing an agreement that would raise the debt limit for two years and cap spending for the same period — and the agreement would claw back $10 billion of the $80 billion increase in IRS funding , which the Democrats passed last Congress.

But a source familiar with the talks told the two sides had not agreed on a maximum amount and had not agreed on whether to extend the borrowing by a year or two. The Republicans only want one year, the Democrats want to push through the extension until the next election.

Both sides are also busy with defense spending on Friday. Republicans wanted a significant increase in the defense budget despite wanting spending cuts overall, while Democrats called for spending cuts. The two sides could agree on a small increase — in line with President Biden’s $886.3 billion budget request.

Emma Colton

Janice Dean is a WSTPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Janice Dean joined WSTPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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