Jean-Pierre gets defensive on Biden debt ceiling strategy, shifts blame to McCarthy

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre got defensive with reporters Thursday when they suggested President Biden may be to blame for the lack of progress on avoiding a U.S. debt default. A reporter pressed Jean-Pierre on the issue during a White House press briefing, pointing out that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy had produced a budget as requested, but the Biden administration has yet to make any moves. “Is the president risking [the economy] and Congress by dragging out this process?” a reporter asked. HOUSE WILL VOTE SOON TO CAP FEDERAL SPENDING AT 2022 LEVEL, RAISE DEBT LIMIT FOR ONE YEAR: MCCARTHY “It’s not the president that’s risking this. It is Congress that is risking this,” Jean-Pierre responded in a sharp tone. “These political stunts you’re seeing from Speaker McCarthy and the MAGA wing – this is dangerous. These are political stunts that will have long-lasting effects.” “This is something they can easily deal with immediately by putting a piece of legislation on the floor to deal with not defaulting,” she added. “This is their constitutional duty. We should not have to negotiate on this.” “But doesn’t everyone bear responsibility, including and especially the president?” the reporter pressed. “The responsibility to make sure that we do not default – it sits in the hands of Congress,” Jean-Pierre said. “But the president said, ‘Show me your budget.’ He didn’t say, ‘a budget that I agree with,’” the reporter continued, later adding, “Isn’t the ball in the president’s court?” “I already answered the question . . . many many times,” Jean-Pierre concluded. “This is a constitutional duty that Congress has, and Speaker McCarthy is playing games.” MCCONNELL RIPS BIDEN’S ‘EXTREME POSITION’ ON DEBT LIMIT IN FIRST SPEECH BACK AFTER CONCUSSION McCarthy introduced his budget plan earlier this week, though Biden and Democrats have expressed major issues with the package. Biden’s administration insists Republicans should agree to increase the debt ceiling as is, with no negotiations over any changes to budget policy.
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