Congressional Democrats urge Biden to negotiate debt ceiling with McCarthy

Several legislators from both the House and Senate call for dialogue and criticize the president's "leadership deficiency."

With the threat of the first default in U.S. history closer than ever, and with Joe Biden refusing to sit down to negotiate with the Republican Party, several congressional Democrats from both the House and the Senate are calling on the president to take the next steps to end this crisis after the passage of the bill proposed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy.

The first to open fire was Senator Joe Manchin, who is known for his confrontations with the Democratic Party. The West Virginia lawmaker criticized Biden's leadership while applauding McCarthy for passing the bill, even though he doesn't agree "with everything proposed." Congresswoman Debbie Dingell warned: "We have to solve this, the United States cannot default."

"It's semantics"

The latest to join have been two other members of the Democratic Party in the House of Representatives. Speaking to CNN, Congressman Jared Golden called for the official opening of negotiations following the Republican proposal and stressed that the only real obstacle is partisan speeches. "We got one camp that they want to talk about spending — and they want to do that before they agree to raise the debt ceiling. We have got another camp that says they are willing to sit down and talk about spending after we deal with a debt limit. It’s semantics."

Democrat Jared Moskowitz considers that the time has come for the two leaders to talk, "even if those talks right now do not achieve anything productive." Moskowitz highlighted the negotiating spirit of the current president, and called for an end to the "we'll never sit down and talk" discourse: "Joe Biden has shown his entire career — it’s why he’s president — that he is someone that will also negotiate, he’ll always talk. So listen, I have faith that Joe Biden and the Speaker will sit down and will talk." In D.C., we should always be talking. We should never say…we’re not going to speak to folks across the aisle."

Biden must make a move

The passage of McCarthy's proposal to raise the current debt ceiling by $1.5 trillion in exchange for $4.8 trillion in cuts over the next few years was a blow to the White House's stance, which was confident that the Speaker would not get enough support among his peers to move forward with the measure. Having lost this foothold, and having a formal basis on which to begin negotiations, the ball is in Biden's court. The president now claims that he will only negotiate if the Republicans agree to separate these negotiations from their threats of defaulting on the national debt. He warns that the GOP law will benefit the rich and punish the needy.