President Joe Biden is facing criticism from both sides of the aisle as he struggles to negotiate a deal with House Republicans on raising the debt ceiling.
Republicans are hammering Biden for mishandling the situation, with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) claiming that those negotiations have made progress. Fox News polls show that 47% would blame Biden if talks collapsed, compared to 44% who would point the finger at the GOP. And a CNN poll revealed that most Americans do not believe raising the debt ceiling should be done without cuts to spending.
“The president should be out there,” said Connecticut Democrat Rep. Rosa DeLauro. “The scale of the cuts is staggering, which really the public knows very little about.”
Meanwhile, progressives have taken issue with Biden’s involvement in the negotiations, specifically, his refusal to take action on the debt ceiling using his power as president. Groups of progressive lawmakers are urging Biden to invoke the 14th Amendment and issue a coin to avoid any kind of deal struck with Republicans.
“Why are we going to negotiate with the economic terrorists here that are the Republican Party?” asked Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY).
The GOP bill passed last month in the House would cap discretionary spending at 2022 levels and limit spending increases to 1% a year for the next decade. It could also significantly impact Biden's chances for reelection in 2024, according to House Progressive Caucus Chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA).
“The president — I’m sure he’s thinking about the fact that it was a very vibrant, diverse coalition that put them in the White House, and he’s going to need that vibrant, diverse coalition again for 2024,” she said.
With Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen having already extended the deadline for a deal until June 6, it remains to be seen if Biden will heed the advice of Democrats and take a more aggressive stance on the issue. For now, though, the White House appears to be floundering in negotiations as the clock ticks closer to the debt ceiling deadline.