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House Freedom caucus calls for higher debt ceiling

A coalition of “Liberal caucus” lawmakers has put forward a series of demands to secure a vote to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, giving Republicans a measure before House Speaker Kevin McCarthy returns to negotiations with the White House. has been set.

Among the demands of ultra-conservative groups are canceling President Biden’s $400 billion student loan write-off, recovering unused COVID-19 funds, withdrawing the $80 billion IRS boost approved last December, and limits on discretionary spending for the next 10 years. .

“The current debt crisis has been driven solely by reckless Democratic policies and out-of-control spending,” Pennsylvania Republican House Liberal Party Chairman Scott Perry said Friday. “America won’t default.” To do so, the House Liberal Caucus is proposing responsible solutions to the self-imposed crisis.”

With nearly 50 members and supporters, the Freedom Caucus is a negotiating force in the Republican House of Representatives. However, McCarthy has not indicated whether he is in favor of the group’s latest demands.

The group believes that a plan to limit only discretionary spending and cap annual growth at 1% would save $3 trillion in the long run and “reduce the wasteful, awakened and weaponized federal bureaucracy. I predict that

When the government reached $31.4 trillion in borrowing capacity, the Treasury Department began taking “special measures” to avoid a default in January. These emergency measures are expected to give the government enough headroom to cover daily costs through the summer.

President Biden has called on Congress to raise the debt ceiling “without conditions,” Republicans said, using the country’s full trust and credit as a bargaining chip to cut vital programs like Social Security. condemned.

McCarthy, a California Republican, said Social Security and Medicare were off the agenda for debt-relief talks, but called on Democrats to come up with plans to cut what he called runaway spending.

Lawmakers behind the House Liberty Committee plan say their plan to limit discretionary spending puts the budget on a path to “balance while protecting Social Security retirement and Medicare benefits.” .

Still, the plan is likely not a start for the White House, which announced a budget of $6.8 billion for fiscal year 2024. trillion new taxes.

The budget sets the course for the United States to record spending as a percentage of the economy, calling for an 8% increase in the amount the government is projected to spend this fiscal year.

After a one-on-one meeting with Biden last month, McCarthy said he would continue negotiations with Biden over the debt ceiling.

After a briefing by the head of the Congressional Budget Office, McCarthy urged the White House to continue negotiations.

“If the president delays the opportunity to negotiate together to resolve this issue, the economic impact will only be greater,” McCarthy said Wednesday.

Biden has called on Republicans to release their budget proposals before they are willing to reset the debt ceiling.

The House Liberal Caucus generally represents the most conservative side of the Republican Party, but given that the Republicans have a small majority in the House, they wield tremendous influence within the party. are doing.

And the group showed no signs of backing down on Friday.

“Members of the House Liberal Caucus are ready to roll up their sleeves and get to a vote on these proposals now, and we intend to do so today,” Perry said. America will not default unless the House Freedom caucus calls for higher debt ceiling

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