US President Joe Biden will deliver a scathing critique of Republican policies during a speech in Virginia Beach on Tuesday afternoon, in which he will warn of plans by the GOP to cut access to federal health care programs.
In his speech at the Kempsville Recreation Center, Biden will point to GOP proposals to repeal the Affordable Care Act and cut funding for Medicaid, two programs that nearly one in four Virginians rely on for coverage.
The speech comes just over a week ahead of the planned White House Presenting Biden’s fiscal 2024 budget to Congress while the White House and House Republicans continue to bicker over spending cuts and the debt ceiling.
Republicans have insisted that Biden cut spending under a deal to raise the debt ceiling — a proposal Biden will not negotiate. While he agrees that federal spending needs to be cut, he is vehemently opposed to tying it to the debt ceiling. Biden met with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy at the White House earlier this month to discuss the issue, but no agreements were reached.
Removing the debt ceiling does not justify new spending; it allows the government to borrow more money to cover existing obligations. And since the federal government repeatedly spends more than it takes in from taxes, the legislature has to raise the debt ceiling periodically. Failure to raise the debt ceiling could cause the government to default and halt day-to-day operations, creating potential turmoil in markets and the economy.
The Treasury Department has already taken a number of extraordinary steps to continue paying the government’s bills and expects these measures will be enough to avoid a default until at least early June. But if Congress doesn’t raise or suspend the debt limit by then, it could wreak economic havoc around the world.
Biden has asked House Republicans to come up with their own budget proposal detailing the spending cuts they want before moving on to his. In Tuesday’s speech, the president will point to existing GOP proposals to argue that the party ultimately aims to slash those benefits.
With McCarthy yet to come up with a budget proposal, it’s unclear how many of the ideas Biden cited will be actively considered by the House GOP. McCarthy said cuts to popular Social Security and Medicare programs are “off the table” in any debt ceiling talks.
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