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Biden warns Republicans amid debt standoff, touts own plan: 'We did the math'

"Instead of making threats about default... let's have a conversation," he said.

Published: March 9, 2023 3:01pm

Updated: March 9, 2023 4:27pm

President Joe Biden on Thursday warned Republicans against playing politics with the national debt and risking an unprecedented default as he touted his own budget proposal.

Biden outlined his proposed budget for fiscal year 2024 which includes considerable tax increases and assigns a $6.8 trillion total figure, and challenged Republicans to put forward their own plan so as to start a negotiation on the matter.

"Instead of making threats about default... let's have a conversation," he said, urging the Republicans to put forward their own plan. The president has contended that his plan would ultimately cut deficits by as much as $3 trillion over the next ten years.

Republicans have long advocated for budgetary proposals that address the mounting national debt, though they have largely proposed cuts to federal spending instead of raising taxes. The president asserted that the Republicans would instead increase the deficit by a comparable figure. "We did the math," he said. "How are they gonna make the math work?"

Included in Biden's plan is a minimum income tax of 25% for Americans with wealth exceeding $100 million, according to The Hill, along with hikes to the corporate tax rates, restoration of the Child Tax Credit, and the provision of national paid leave.

Also included are funds to U.S. Customs and Border Protection as it battles an ongoing migration surge at the southern border and additional aid to Ukraine to help it fight off a Russian invasion. 

Many of his proposals have already fallen flat with congressional Republicans. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Thursday maligned the budget proposal as it seeks to raise taxes to pay for runaway government spending rather than directly address the problem.

"President Biden just delivered his budget to Congress, and it is completely unserious," he tweeted. "He proposes trillions in new taxes that you and your family will pay directly or through higher costs. Mr. President: Washington has a spending problem, NOT a revenue problem."

The proposal comes amid an ongoing row between congressional lawmakers over raising the debt ceiling. Earlier this year, the U.S. hit its $31.38 trillion spending limit, prompting Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to announce "extraordinary measures" to avert a default. While Democrats have advocated for a clean increase to the debt ceiling, Republicans have sought to pair any such increase with spending cuts.

Biden's budget proposal will likely serve as a starting point for inter-party negotiations over the nation's finances in the coming weeks.

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