Republican U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy called on Democratic President Joe Biden to agree to compromises and spending cuts, as the two remain deadlocked over raising the nation's $31.4 trillion debt ceiling, Trend reports citing Reuters.
McCarthy spoke on Monday before Biden is set to give the annual State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, aiming to get ahead of the president and reinforce his role as the leading congressional negotiator.
The White House has said Biden will discuss federal spending cuts with Republicans, but only after the debt ceiling is lifted, while McCarthy has said Republicans will only lift the ceiling if Biden agrees to spending cuts. While the two sides disagree on the order of the subjects they are tackling, both say they will continue to talk.
"Mr. President, it's time to get to work," said McCarthy, whose Republicans won a narrow majority in the House of Representatives in November's election.
"We must commit to finding common ground on a responsible debt limit increase. Finding compromise is exactly how governing in America is supposed to work, and exactly what the American people voted for just three months ago," McCarthy said.
"Defaulting on our debt is not an option, but neither is a future of higher taxes, higher interest rates and an economy that doesn't work."
House Republicans want to use the debt ceiling, which covers the spending programs and tax cuts Congress previously approved, as leverage to push spending cuts, after two years of Democratic control of the House and the Senate.