During a press briefing, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre shouted down a reporter who was incensed for not being asked a question.
The exchange began when a reporter asked Jean-Pierre for more information about President Joe Biden’s debt ceiling negotiations with Republicans. Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy have not reached an agreement regarding the June 1 default of the $31.4 trillion debt ceiling.
“Do you mean to tell us that in the discussions between the president and the speaker, and in the discussions between the two negotiating teams, they are only discussing federal discretionary spending and that they are not at all discussing the terms under which the debt ceiling would be raised?” he asked.
“What I can tell you is what you’ve heard from the president and what you’ve heard from both sides, which has been the negotiation has certainly been about the budget,” Jean-Pierre said. “You’ve heard them talk about the budget, you’ve heard them talk about how we’re moving forward and that in this particular moment that we’re in they’ve been productive. The president has held the line and has been very clear that when it comes to the debt limit, it should be done without negotiations, without condition. That’s something that the president has said in front of all of you.”
“They’re not talking about the debt ceiling, about how long it will be raised, by how much. That’s not a subject of discussion?” the reporter interjected.
“I am telling you what the president has said to all of you,” she answered.
“I know what he said. I follow it very closely, everyday,” he shot back. “I want to know what’s happening in that room.”
Biden appeared to soften his aggressive posture toward congressional Republicans in an interview with MSNBC last week, following the passage of a GOP-led measure that raises the federal debt ceiling limit but also requires spending cuts.
A week ago, Biden reversed his adamant opposition to the measure and instead requested McCarthy to negotiate the debt ceiling at a meeting scheduled for 9 May to prevent a default.
McCarthy received a call from Biden to set up a meeting to begin these negotiations while he was in Israel.
The Biden administration was caught off guard when McCarthy-led House Republicans passed a bill to increase the debt limit. According to reports, the White House was unprepared for the unforeseen victory.
The following day, Jean-Pierre told reporters, “We will not negotiate on this matter.” We’ve been crystal clear on this point.”
But in an interview carried on MSNBC last Friday, Biden appeared to further soften his opposition to the measure by adopting a more conciliatory tone with McCarthy.
Biden refrained from attacking McCarthy personally, instead referring to him as a “honest man.” McCarthy has pushed for a follow-up meeting, which is scheduled for next week, despite the fact that the two have only formally negotiated once. According to Politico, instead of assaulting McCarthy, Biden criticized the agreement he made with his fellow House Republicans to raise the debt ceiling.
“I think he’s in the position, well, he had to make a deal and that was pretty — you know, 15 votes. Fifteen votes that where he had — just about sold away everything that he — at the far, far right,” he said. “There’s the Republican Party and there’s the MAGA Republicans, and the MAGA Republicans really have put him in a position where in order to stay Speaker, he has to agree — he’s agreed to things that, maybe, he believes, but are just extreme.”
More on this story via Conservative Brief:
Biden told Ruhle he was not ready to try a workaround for raising the debt ceiling for the time being. CONTINUE READING…