By Kanishka Singh
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Republican U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy said on Sunday the House would vote on his spending and debt bill this week, and invited President Joe Biden to discuss the debt ceiling with him.
McCarthy floated a plan last week that would pair $4.5 trillion in spending cuts with a $1.5 trillion increase in the $31.4 trillion U.S. debt limit.
Biden and the Democratic-controlled Senate are likely to reject the proposal, but McCarthy has called it a basis for negotiations between the two parties in the coming weeks. Failure to raise the debt ceiling would lead to a U.S. default on its financial obligations, shaking the global economy.
Financial markets have already shown signs of worry about the standoff, with the cost of insuring exposure to U.S. debt at its highest in a decade and financial analysts raising concerns about the rising risk of default.
Republicans hold a narrow majority in the House but McCarthy said he was confident of securing enough votes to pass his bill in the chamber.
“I cannot imagine someone in our conference that would want to go along with Biden’s reckless spending,” McCarthy told Fox News in an interview on Sunday.
“Like every other household in America – if Washington wants to spend more, it needs to save more somewhere else,” McCarthy added in a tweet on Sunday. “This isn’t controversial – it’s common sense. I invite the President to get serious and join Republicans at the table.”
Democratic Senators Amy Klobuchar and Dick Durbin on Sunday also urged negotiations between Biden and McCarthy but said McCarthy’s proposal was more appropriate for budget debates than for the debt ceiling.
“The conversation should be underway, but it should be on the budget resolution, and on the appropriations process and entitlement reform, if that’s part of the agenda. That should all be separate from the question of the debt ceiling. Don’t default, avoid default,” Durbin told NBC News.
(Reporting by Kanishka Singh; Additional reporting by Ted Hesson and David Lawder; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Richard Chang)