Senate Republicans Press for Spending Cuts Ahead of White House Debt Ceiling Meeting

By Sean Moran

Senate Republicans reaffirmed that they will not vote for a clean debt ceiling ahead of a pivotal White House meeting with congressional leaders.

President Joe Biden, Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), House Democrat Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will meet at the White House Tuesday afternoon to discuss a potential debt ceiling compromise.

Biden, Schumer, and Jeffries want a clean debt ceiling hike, while McCarthy and McConnell want spending cuts and budget reforms.

“Well, I don’t think the responsible thing to do is to kick the can down the road when President Biden has been saying, for months — the position of leader Schumer, the position of House Democrats — has been we have to avoid a default,” Jeffries told NBC this weekend.

Most Senate Republicans reaffirmed their support for McConnell and McCarthy ahead of Tuesday’s meeting, pledging that they will not support a clean debt ceiling bill:

The Senate Republican conference is united behind the House Republican conference in support of spending cuts and structural budget reform as a starting point for negotiations on the debt ceiling.

Our economy is in free fall due to unsustainable fiscal policies. This trajectory must be addressed with fiscal reforms. Moreover, recent Treasury projections have reinforced the urgency of addressing the debt ceiling. The House has taken a responsible first step in coming to the table with their proposals. It is imperative that the president now do the same.

As such, we will not be voting for cloture on any bill that raises the debt ceiling without substantive spending and budget reforms.

The senators that signed onto the letter include Mike Lee, John Barrasso, Marsha Blackburn, John Boozman, Mike Braun, Ted Budd, Shelley Moore Capito, Bill Cassidy, Katie Britt, John Cornyn, Tom Cotton, Mike Crapo, Ted Cruz, Kevin Cramer, Steve Daines, Joni Ernst, Deb Fischer, Lindsey Graham, Chuck Grassley, Bill Hagerty, John Hoeven, Cindy Hyde-Smith, Ron Johnson, James Lankford, Cynthia Lummis, Roger Marshall, Mitch McConnell, Jerry Moran, Markwayne Mullin, Pete Ricketts, James Risch, Marco Rubio, Mike Rounds, Tim Scott, Rick Scott, Eric Schmitt, Dan Sullivan, John Thune, Thom Tillis, Tommy Tuberville, J.D. Vance, Roger Wicker, and Todd Young.

Notably, Sens. Mitt Romney (R-UT), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Susan Collins (R-ME) did not sign onto the letter backing spending cuts and reforms.

American Action Network, a group aligned with House Republican leadership, is spending $250,000 on a nationwide CNN and MSNBC ad buy this week, calling on Biden to accept spending reforms.