McCarthy says 'made progress' on debt deal but 'nothing is agreed to until it's all agreed to'

"I'm not concerned about anybody making any comments right now about what they think is in or not in," McCarthy says, addressing press reports about the details of a potential deal on the debt limit

Published: May 26, 2023 11:50pm

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy pushed back on press reports about the contents of a potential debt limit agreement with the White House, emphasizing that he's working as hard as possible to reach a deal and the negotiators are making progress.

"We worked through the night last night. I thought we made progress yesterday. I want to make progress again today and I want to be able to solve this problem," McCarthy told reporters on Friday on Capitol Hill. "Look, nothing's agreed to until it's all agreed to, and we're working through everything."

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen had said the U.S. could default on its debt as soon as June 1 if no deal is reached to raise the debt ceiling. The department amended their projected deadline on Friday to June 5.

McCarthy said he's personally been in touch with President Biden's negotiating team over the past 24 hours but not the president himself. 

The California Republican said including work requirements in Medicaid and food stamp programs should be a bipartisan issue. 

"If you're opposed to work requirements, you support the idea of borrowing money from China, paying people who are only able bodied with no dependents to sit on the couch, and then you're not paying into Social Security or Medicare," he said. "You're harming the whole process."

Some news reports on Friday morning had suggested that a deal was close and that the agreement centered on reducing the additional $80 billion of Internal Revenue Service funding Democrats passed last year in the Inflation Reduction Act for the hiring of up to 87,000 new IRS agents.

Responding to questions about the contents of a potential agreement, McCarthy said he's not going to negotiate in public.

"You're talking to people who don't know what's in the deal. So I'm not concerned about anybody making any comments right now about what they think is in or not in," he said. "Whenever we come to an agreement, we'll make sure we will first brief our entire conference."

The House and Senate are currently not in session. A spokesperson for McCarthy told Just the News that the speaker plans to remain in Washington, D.C. through the Memorial Day holiday. 

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