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Posts tagged ‘Negotiations’

‘Major Issues’ Remain in Struggle Over Debt Ceiling

NEWSMAX Staff | Friday, 26 May 2023 02:17 PM EDT


'Major Issues' Remain in Struggle Over Debt Ceiling
Republican debt limit negotiator Rep. Garret Graves of Louisiana, left, walks out of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s office Friday. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Democrat and Republican negotiators struggled Friday to reach a deal to raise the U.S. government’s $31.4 trillion debt ceiling, with a key Republican citing disagreements over work requirements for some benefit programs for low-income Americans. Time is running short for Democrat President Joe Biden and Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to reach an accord to raise the federal government’s self-imposed borrowing limit and avert a potentially disastrous default.

Negotiators appeared to be nearing a deal to lift the limit for two years and cap spending, with agreement on funding for the Internal Revenue Service and the military, years while capping spending on many government programs, according to a U.S. official. But an administration official briefed on the talks said they could easily slip into the weekend. The two sides remained at loggerheads over a Republican push for new work requirements for some anti-poverty programs.

“We have made progress,” lead Republican negotiator Garret Graves told reporters. “I said two days ago, we had some progress that was made on some key issues, but I want to be clear, we continue to have major issues that we have not bridged the gap on chief among them work requirements.”

A failure by Congress to raise its self-imposed debt ceiling in the coming week could trigger a default that would shake financial markets and send the United States into a deep recession.

“We know it’s crunch time,” McCarthy told reporters at the Capitol on Friday. “We’re not just trying to get an agreement, we’re trying to get something that’s worthy of the American people, that changes the trajectory.”

Wall Street’s main indexes rose on Friday as investors hoped for progress in the negotiations. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was set to snap a five-day losing streak, while the Nasdaq touched its highest level since mid-August earlier in the session.

Even if they succeed in reaching a deal, leaders from both parties will likely have to work hard to round up enough votes for approval in Congress. Right-wing Republicans have insisted that any deal must include steep spending cuts, while Democrats have resisted the new work requirements for benefit programs. The deal under consideration would increase funding for military and veterans care while essentially holding non-defense discretionary spending at current year levels, said the official, who requested anonymity because they are not authorized to speak about internal discussions.

A two-year extension would mean Congress would not need to address the limit again until after the 2024 presidential election. The deal might also scale back funding for the IRS, the official said.

Biden paid for his signature legislation, the Inflation Reduction Act, in part by committing $80 billion in new funding for the IRS to target wealthy Americans and generate $200 billion in new tax revenue. The money was designated mandatory spending, which, like social security, protects it from the annual appropriations process. The deal being considered would shift that money to discretionary funding, making it subject to the annual appropriations process and placing its future in jeopardy, according to a U.S. official. The White House is working on a way to preserve the effort to target wealthy taxpayers, even if the money is moved, the official said.

The deal would boost military and veterans spending to levels proposed by Biden earlier this year, a second U.S. official said.


Each side will have to persuade enough members of their party in the narrowly divided Congress to vote for any eventual deal.

“The only way to move forward is with a bipartisan agreement. And I believe we will come to an agreement that allows us to move forward and that protects the hardworking Americans of this country,” Biden said on Thursday.

The Treasury Department has warned that it could be unable to cover all its obligations as soon as June 1, but also has made plans to sell $119 billion worth of debt that will come due on that date, suggesting to some market watchers that it was not an iron-clad deadline.

The standoff has unnerved investors, pushing the government’s borrowing costs up by $80 million so far, according to Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo.

Several credit-rating agencies have said they have put the United States on review for a possible downgrade, which would push up borrowing costs and undercut the United States’ standing as the backbone of the global financial system. A similar 2011 standoff led Standard & Poor’s to downgrade its rating on U.S. debt.

Most lawmakers have left Washington for the Memorial Day holiday, but their leaders have warned them to be ready to return for votes when a deal is struck. House leaders have said lawmakers will get three days to ponder the deal before a vote, and any single lawmaker in the Senate has the power to tie up action for days. At least one, Republican Mike Lee, has threatened to do so.

© 2023 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.


Biden, McCarthy Appear Closer to Deal on Debt Ceiling

NEWSMAX Staff | Thursday, 25 May 2023 03:48 PM EDT


Biden, McCarthy Appear Closer to Deal on Debt Ceiling
(Getty Images)

President Joe Biden and top congressional Republican Kevin McCarthy on Thursday appeared to be nearing a deal to cut spending and raise the government’s $31.4 trillion debt ceiling, with little time to spare to head off the risk of default. The deal would specify the total amount the government could spend on discretionary programs like housing and education, according to a person familiar with the talks, but not break that down into individual categories. The two sides are just $70 billion apart on a total figure that would be well over $1 trillion, according to another source.

Biden said the two sides still disagreed where the cuts should fall.

“I don’t believe the whole burden should fall back to middle class and working class Americans,” he told reporters.

The Treasury Department has warned that the federal government could run short of money to cover all its obligations as soon as June 1 – a week away – but on Thursday it announced plans to sell $119 billion worth of debt that will settle on June 1, suggesting to some market watchers that date was not an iron-clad deadline. Any agreement will have to pass the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and the Democrat-controlled Senate. That could be tricky, as some right-wing Republicans and many liberal Democrats said they were upset by the prospect of compromise.

“I don’t think everybody’s going to be happy at the end of the day. That’s now how the system works,” said McCarthy, who serves as House speaker.

His office did not respond to a request for comment about the possible agreement with the  president. The deal would only set broad spending outlines, leaving lawmakers to fill in the blanks in the weeks and months to come. It would specify the total amount of military spending, which would a key sticking point in the talks, one of the sources said.

Biden has resisted Republican proposals to stiffen work requirements for anti-poverty programs and loosen oil and gas drilling rules, according to Democrat Rep. Mark Takano.

Rep.  Kevin Hern, who leads the powerful Republican Study Committee, told Reuters a deal was likely by Friday afternoon.

Even as Republicans tout progress, McCarthy is preparing to possibly let lawmakers leave Washington on Thursday for a week-long holiday recess, with the proviso that they need to be ready to return for a vote. The Senate is currently out but on similar orders to be ready to return.

A U.S. default could upend global financial markets and push the United States into recession.


Credit rating agency DBRS Morningstar put the United States on review for a possible downgrade on Thursday, echoing similar warnings by Fitch, Moody’s and Scope Ratings. Another agency, S&P Global, downgraded U.S. debt following a similar debt-ceiling standoff in 2011. The months-long standoff has spooked Wall Street, weighing on U.S. stocks and pushing the nation’s cost of borrowing higher. The yield on U.S. Treasury bills maturing in early June climbed in early Thursday trading, in a sign of investor unease.

Deputy U.S. Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said concerns about the debt ceiling had pushed up the government’s interest costs by $80 million so far. Lawmakers regularly need to raise the self-imposed debt limit to cover the cost of spending and tax cuts they have already approved.

House lawmakers will get three days to read any debt-ceiling bill before they have to vote on it. In the Senate, Republican Mike Lee said he would block a quick vote if he did not like the deal, which could delay action for days. McCarthy has insisted that any deal must cut discretionary spending next year and cap spending growth in the years to come, to slow the growth of the U.S. debt, now equal to the annual output of the economy.

He also said he had briefly spoken about the negotiations with former President Donald Trump, who has publicly urged Republicans to allow a default if they fall short of their goals. Biden has offered to freeze spending at current levels next year and proposed several tax increases to help curb the debt.

Lawmakers on the parties’ right and left flanks are growing frustrated by signs of compromise. Republican Representative Chip Roy, a member of the hard-right Freedom Caucus, has insisted that any deal must include the sharp spending cuts they passed last month.

Some Democrats, meanwhile, say Biden has not been vocal enough about the downsides to Republicans’ proposed spending cuts, in contrast to McCarthy who has been briefing reporters multiple times per day.

“I would urge the president to use the power of the bully pulpit of the presidency,” said Democrat Representative Steven Horsford.

© 2023 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

White House ‘dug in’ on demands in debt limit talks, McCarthy told House GOP: source

By Elizabeth Elkind FOXBusiness | Published May 23, 2023 12:09pm EDT


House Speaker Kevin McCarthy told his conference that the White House was still “dug in” on its stance in debt limit negotiations despite a Monday night meeting that both sides hailed as “productive,” according to a source familiar with this morning’s remarks.

“Members were told to remain flexible for next week” in case they have to return to vote for a new debt limit bill, the source said. “McCarthy said the White House is dug in on raising taxes and [increasing] spending but by a smaller amount than they would like.”

It lines up with reporting that White House negotiators have countered Republicans’ demand to cut spending to 2022 levels and cap it at 1% growth for the next decade with an offer to freeze current spending levels into the next fiscal year, with caps for one or two following years.


Kevin McCarthy
Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy talks to reporters as he returns from a House Republican conference meeting on May 23, 2023. (Getty Images)

According to the source, McCarthy told members they have to “keep negotiating” and urged House Republicans to “stick together.”

He did not, however, offer fellow lawmakers any “points of agreement” forged between the White House and House GOP negotiators despite having roughly a week until the U.S. government is likely to run out of cash to pay all of its obligations.


Biden and McCarthy
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, left, met with President Joe Biden, right, at the White House on Monday evening to discuss the debt limit. (Getty Images)

McCarthy later told reporters when he left the closed-door meeting that “we’re not there yet” in terms of a deal. He and Biden held their first bilateral meeting on the debt limit since February on Monday evening, with teams for both getting together afterward to continue working on a compromise.


Kevin McCarthy
Both House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, front, and Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., called the meeting productive afterward. (Getty Images)

But it appears both sides were still far apart as of Tuesday morning – though McCarthy expressed optimism that a deal could still be struck by June 1.

“They still want to spend more money next year than we spent this year. That’s a red line,” the speaker said. “We could still finish this by June … we’re trying to condense everything in a short time frame. The House passed the bill. The Senate never passed a bill. So, now it’s more difficult because of what else we have to negotiate from a lot of different perspectives. But we can still finish in time.”

Tyler Olson contributed to this report.

Debt Limit Talks Stall as Republicans ‘Press Pause’

NEWSMAX STAFF | Friday, 19 May 2023 02:26 PM EDT


Debt limit talks came to an abrupt standstill Friday after Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said it’s time to “pause” negotiations, and a White House official acknowledged there are “real differences” that are making talks difficult. McCarthy said resolution to the standoff is “easy,” if only President Joe Biden would agree to some spending cuts Republicans are demanding. It is unclear when negotiations would resume.

“We’ve got to get movement by the White House and we don’t have any movement yet,” McCarthy, R-Calif., told reporters at the Capitol. “So, yeah, we’ve got to pause.”

A White House official who was granted anonymity Friday to discuss the private conversations said there are “real differences” between the parties on the budget issues and further “talks will be difficult.” The official added that the president’s team is working hard towards a “reasonable bipartisan solution” that can pass both the House and the Senate.

Biden’s administration is racing to strike a deal with Republicans led by McCarthy as the nation careens toward a potentially catastrophic debt default if the government fails to increase the borrowing limit, now at $31 trillion, to keep paying the nation’s bills.

Wall Street turned lower as the negotiations on raising the nation’s debt limit came to a sudden halt, raising worries that the country could edge closer to risking a highly damaging default on U.S. government debt.

The president who has been in Japan attending the Group of Seven summit had no immediate comment. Biden had already planned to cut short the rest of his trip and he is expected to return to Washington later Sunday.

Negotiators met for a third day behind closed doors at the Capitol with hopes of settling on an agreement this weekend before possible House votes next week. They face a looming deadline as soon as June 1 when the Treasury Department has said it will run out of cash to pay the government’s incurred debt. Republicans want to extract steep spending cuts that Biden has so far refused to accept. Any deal would need the support of both Republicans and Democrats to find approval in a divided Congress and be passed into law.

“Look, we can’t be spending more money next year,” McCarthy said at the Capitol. “We have to spend less than we spent the year before. It’s pretty easy.”

But McCarthy is facing a hard-right flank of Freedom Caucus and other Republican lawmakers that almost certain to oppose any deal with the White House. The internal political dynamics confronting the embattled McCarthy leaves the Democrats skeptical of giving away too much to the Republicans that drives away the Democrat support they will need to pass any compromise through the Congress.

Experts have warned that even the threat of a debt default would send shockwaves through the economy. Markets had been rising this week on hopes of a deal. But that shifted abruptly Friday after negotiators ended late morning an hour after they had begun.

Rep. Garret Graves, R-La., tapped by McCarthy to lead the talks, emerged from an hourlong session at the Capitol and said gaps remained between House Republicans and the Democrat administration.

“It’s time to press pause because it’s just not productive,” Graves told reporters.

He added that the negotiations have become “just unreasonable” and that it was unclear when talks would resume.

The S&P 500 went from a gain of 0.3% to a loss of 0.1% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average went from a gain of 117 points to a loss of about 90 points.

Biden departed early from a dinner with G7 leaders in Hiroshima on Friday night. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Biden planned to be briefed on the negotiations by his team Friday evening.

As Republicans demand spending cuts and policy changes, Biden is facing increased pushback from Democrats, particularly progressives, not to give in to demands they argue will be harmful to Americans.

Another Republican negotiator, Rep. Patrick McHenry of North Carolina, said, “There is a “serious gap” between the sides.

“We’re in a tough spot,” said McHenry, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, as he left the meeting.

McCarthy faces pressures from his hard-right flank to cut the strongest deal possible for Republicans, and he risks a threat to his leadership as speaker if he fails to deliver.

A day earlier, the conservative House Freedom Caucus said there should be no further discussions until the Senate takes action on the House Republican bill that was approved last month to raise the debt limit into 2024 in exchange for spending caps and policy changes. Biden has said he would veto that Republican measure.

In the Senate, which is controlled by majority Democrats, the Republican leader Mitch McConnell has taken a backseat publicly, and is pushing Biden to strike a deal directly with McCarthy. McConnell blamed Biden for having “waited months before agreeing to negotiate” with the speaker.

“They are the only two who can reach an agreement,” McConnell said in a tweet. “It is past time for the White House to get serious. Time is of the essence.”

Democrats are wary of any deal with Republicans, and particularly refuse the Republican proposal to protect defense and veterans accounts from spending caps, arguing that the cuts will fall too heavily on other domestic programs. Republicans also want to impose stricter work requirements on government aid recipients. Biden has suggested he might be open to considering it, but Democrats in Congress have said is a nonstarter.

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Today’s Politically INCORRECT Cartoon

waving flagClose to a deal

URL of the original posting site:

IranKerry Eye-Prize-600-LI Give peace-chance-590-LI hate Huge-Gap-600-LI Iran%20UN_jpg Iran iran-ayatollah-missile-AP-640x480 Iran-Cheat-600-LA Non-Negotiable-600-LI response stop Why freedom combo 2

Today’s Politically INCORRECT Cartoon

Doomed to Repeat It

URL of the Original Posting Site:

Peace our Time 600 LA

muslim-obama Islamapologist Obama Muslim collection Imperial President Obama Freedom with Prayer

BREAKTHROUGH? OBAMA ‘WILLING TO NEGOTIATE’, but only with murderers and tyrants, not GOP


author-image GARTH KANT 

WASHINGTON – President Obama is willing to negotiate with the Syrian dictator he wanted to bomb for gassing his own people.

He is willing to negotiate with the president of Iran and the Taliban.

But, Obama said, “Absoutely, I will not negotiate” with Republicans.

Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, finds that outrageous, and there is fury in his voice.

“This is something fundamentally wrong with this president,” he told WND. (SEE VIDEO. Click picture)


“The president is willing to negotiate with this man, who gassed his own people,” said Stockman, pointing to a picture of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad giving a Nazi-like salute.

“He can negotiate with the head of Iran, who wants to eliminate all of Israel.”

The president even negotiated with the Taliban and apparently got very little in return, Stockman pointed out.

But Obama refuses to negotiate on the budget with House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, “who’s the leader of our House, who is nothing more than a working-class guy who got elected to Congress.”

The straight-shooting Texan made sure to mention he had even once worked against Boehner “and didn’t want to see him as speaker,” but showed an obvious admiration for the man “known for his compassionate heart.”

“Yet, this is the man he (Obama) refuses to negotiate with, and this is the man he calls a terrorist with a bomb strapped to him,” he said. “What we have right here, is the president has things backward. He is abdicating his responsibilities.”

Stockman said Obama is saying he’s more frightened of the speaker than he is of the terrorists and the war mongers in the world.

“It’s an embarrassment that he won’t negotiate with John Boehner.”

Stockman reflected,  “I may disagree with his policies sometimes, but one thing you can say about John Boehner is he has a big heart. He’s a gracious guy and it is wrong of this administration to vilify him and make outrageous and outlandish comments about him.

“The president owes him an apology.”

Stockman’s full interview with WND touched upon many other aspects of the government shutdown.

WND asked if he had ever heard of a continuing resolution (spending bill) passed without negotiations.

The Texan said, “no,” and, “It would be tantamount to sitting in a room with an empty chair. ”

Stockman noted, when he was in the Senate, Obama “hardly ever voted,” and now “he’s abdicating his responsibility (as president.)”

“There’s nobody to negotiate with,” he said. “So, he shut the government down because he is unwilling to be reasonable.”

WND asked Stockman: Why is he doing that?

The congressman chalked it up to politics and said the Democrats think this will help them in the 2014 elections.

“They’re going to blame the Republicans for the shutdown,” he explained. “And, quite frankly, the way the press is, Republicans probably will get the blame.

“The government was shut down eight times during the Reagan administration. If you go back to the press clippings, he gets the total blame for it.”

Stockman said the media portrayed Congress and former House Speaker Tip O’Neill, D-Mass., as having “nothing to do with it,” but, “Now, the Republicans have taken over the House, it’s not the president’s fault anymore; it’s now (the fault of) Congress.”

WND noted the shutdown affects “nonessential” services and asked whether Stockman believes taxpayers should be paying for nonessential services in the first place.

“Some would argue that could be permanent and could save the government millions, if not billions, of dollars,” the Texan mused.

Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., is demanding Republicans pass the Senate’s spending bill before he will negotiate. WND asked Stockman, if the GOP did that, what would be left to negotiate.

He replied, “Harry Reid is demanding we totally give up our position.”

Stockman added, “They’re going to throw a tantrum until they get their way. And, I hope we don’t cave to that kind of behavior.”

This is Stockman’s second time in Congress. He observed, “Last time I was here, it was 22 or 23 days before President Clinton came to his senses and started negotiating. Which, by the way, facilitated one of the largest reforms, welfare reform. After we settled it, the stock market took off.”

What is the GOP strategy now?

“I think the public’s going to get tired of it, and they (the Democrats) are going to feel the heat,” the congressman predicted.

“They think we’re going to feel the heat, but I would think someone like (Sen.) Mary Landrieu (D-La.), who’s running for re-election in Louisiana is going to have a hard time defending her position, which gives Congress special breaks and doesn’t allow delays of Obamacare for the rest of the people.”

Does he feel there’s enough unity among House Republicans to hold the plan together?

“Well, so far,” he said. “It’s bizarre because they keep saying we’re not unified, but there’s more Democrats coming to our side than the other way around. If anything, there are Democrats who are falling off the wagon.”

Stockman rattled off a list of problems he said have occurred under Obama, including the rich getting richer and rising black unemployment, “yet he is never held accountable for his actions.”

He added, “He’s blamed another president now for five or six years. None of this is his fault. ”

The congressman said the president has “abdicated his responsibility as a leader. It’s high time he stands up and takes a leadership role, not play golf.

“He does not care about the people. His actions speak louder than words.”

Boehner asks why Obama will negotiate with Putin but not Republicans

By Jonathan Easley – 09/19/13 07:53 AM ET 

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) released a Web video  on Thursday seeking to contrast the White House’s willingness to work with the Russians to find a diplomatic solution in Syria against President Obama’s declaration that he won’t negotiate with Republicans over the debt limit.

“The Obama administration on working with Congress to address the debt and deficit,” the ad says, before cutting to a montage of Obama and senior members of his staff saying they will not negotiate over the country’s debt ceiling.“The Obama administration on working with Putin on Syria,” the ad continues, before cutting to pictures of Obama looking chummy with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Why is the Obama administration willing to negotiate with Putin on Syria … But not with Congress to address Washington’s spending problem?” text from the ad asks.

Last week, the U.S. and Russia brokered a deal in which Syria would give up its chemical weapons. The diplomatic solution temporarily lifted the threat of a U.S. military strike against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

House Republican leaders said Wednesday they were working on legislation to raise the debt ceiling but that it would include a one-year delay in the implementation of the president’s healthcare law.

The White House says it will not negotiate over the country’s borrowing limit and will not consider a debt limit package that seeks to delay or defund ObamaCare.

The last debt limit showdown in 2011 dragged Congress and the president’s approval ratings to new lows, and resulted in the automatic spending cuts known as the sequester.

US Ready To Enter Negotiations With Taliban?


Joyce Brothers said: “Trust your hunches. They’re usually based on facts filed away just below the conscious level.”

Unquestionably, there is merit in trust. Having trust in other people is a basic and necessary part of life. Without trust, we would remain isolated; never able to form relationships with other people. However, just as important as holding trust in someone else, is holding trust in yourself; in your own instincts. In politics, sometimes, trusting your own instincts is all you have.

 There are certainly those in the world with whom you should not deal, or negotiate. There is a basic understanding—at least I have a basic understanding—that one should not trust someone who has not proven worthy of trust. Simple, right? Apparently not. According to, the United States, in conjunction with Afghanistan, is prepared to enter negotiations with the Taliban. Yes, you read that correctly…negotiating with the TALIBAN.

Taliban Spokesman Mohammad Naim has announced that the Taliban will not accept the use of Afghan soil as a base for military operations, and supports negotiations. The Obama administration stated that US representatives will start bilateral negotiations with the Taliban…Marine General Joseph Dunford, the top US commander in Afghanistan, also celebrated the beginning of talks: ‘My perspective has always been that this war is going to have to end with political reconciliation and so I frankly would be supportive of any positive movement in terms of reconciliation…that would bring reconciliation between the afghan people and the Taliban.’

So, a terrorist organization is suddenly—with seemingly abundant enthusiasm–willing to enter “peace talks?” Something doesn’t smell right. Actually, that’s generous. This is totally bogus. This is the same organization that called the Karzai administration “stooges” of the West.

I can’t ask much beyond these basic questions: Why would anyone enter negotiations with the Taliban? More than that, why would the Taliban suddenly decide that now is the time to negotiate?

No answer?

An ideologically-driven group of people, a people who want nothing more than to exterminate those who don’t agree with them, cannot be negotiated with. Is it just me, or is this not absolutely, hands down crazy?

However, the part that baffles me the most is the willingness on the part of Afghanistan and the US to deal with these maniacs. Do they actually believe that the Taliban can be trusted; or is this a small move in a much larger game? Is it a fake out?

I am trusting my instincts, and leaning toward the belief that this is a chess move in a much larger game. But I wonder; in the end, which side is actually benefitting? Is this move worth the risk of legitimizing psychopaths? I say no.

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