CBS’ Portnoy: Important Both Sides Will Keep Talking

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Though both sides are still far apart, there is some good news after Wednesday’s meeting between President Biden and US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy…that’s the word from CBS News Correspondent Steven Portnoy on WKOK’s On The Mark.

He said, “The fact is that both sides have fundamental, philosophical disagreements about the moment we’re in, and yesterday’s (Wednesday’s) meeting was the first of what we expect to be many conversations. That was the one agreement that was announced, both sides agreed to keep talking.”

Right now, Speaker McCarthy and other House Republicans want to eliminate the debt ceiling and make cuts to government agency spending, something even suggested by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen

“He said that it’s his hope to have a two-year spending framework agreed upon, which essentially would be an agreement in principle for the coming fiscal year and the one after that to set the agency spending at a certain level, but that takes a lot of work to achieve,” Portnoy said.

President Biden hasn’t been willing to negotiate spending cuts as part of the debt ceiling conversation, and House Democrats don’t want to see cuts to Medicare and Social Security payments.

Portnoy says it’s still the belief that’s not what the GOP wants to do, “They believe there’s waste and abuse and fraud within those agency budgets and they want to chip away at that agency spending, not the big picture stuff. They insist they do not want to cut Medicare and social security. The White House says, essentially, that Republicans are trying to talk out of both sides of their mouth on this.”

If there is no agreement by June, there would be the first U.S. government default in history, and a possible government shutdown in September.

You can hear more analysis from CBS’ Steven Portnoy on the Podcast Page or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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