Party agendas tower over debt ceiling negotiations

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President Joe Biden and Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen attend a meeting with business and labor leaders at the White House in Washington, DC on November 18, 2022. Photo by Chris Kleponis/CNP/startraksphot/Cover Images.

The Biden administration and House Republicans are already in a potentially months-long standoff over raising the national debt ceiling. 

The Treasury Department started to enact “extraordinary measures” this week in order to keep paying the federal government’s bills after hitting the debt ceiling, or the borrowing cap set by law, at $31.4 trillion. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen must now suspend some investments and exchange other types of debt to keep the cash flowing, but she predicts that can only last until June. 

Congress must now raise or suspend the debt ceiling so the government can keep the cash flowing. Failing to act could push the country into default could destabilize financial markets and push the world into economic chaos. 

Historically, raising the debt ceiling has been an easy vote for legislators. But it’s become a political game of chicken in recent years. Republicans want to slash spending for entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare, but the Biden administration has made clear it wants the limit to be raised without conditions. 

What’s really behind the hard stances from both parties? And given the clear divisions in the Republican party, are negotiations a good strategy?

Host David Greene discusses with Mo Elleithee, executive director of Georgetown University’s Institute of Politics and Public Service, and Sarah Isgur, senior editor at The Dispatch. 

Plus, Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar were once again granted seats on House committees after being kicked off in 2021 by a Democratic-led Congress. They will both join the House Oversight and Accountability Committee and have already announced their intention to investigate President Biden over a number of issues. 

What does this tell us about how the GOP plans to use its slim House majority? And what will this mean for Democrats?

And Israel is moving toward a dangerous path away from democracy with Benjamin Netanyahu’s reinstatement as prime minister. While Democratic lawmakers are criticizing Israel, President Biden is now weighing how to respond.

What could the Biden administration do, as it navigates debates in their own party? And is now the time for Biden to take a stance?




David Greene