Manchin, McCarthy meet amid debt limit fight

The U.S. hit its $31.38 trillion debt ceiling last week, prompting Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to implement "extraordinary measures" to keep the government running.

Updated: January 25, 2023 - 3:44pm

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West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin on Wednesday met with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and urged the California Republican to seek a compromise with President Joe Biden on raising the debt limit.

While Democrats favor a straight increase to the nation's debt limit with no strings attached, Republicans seek to condition any such hike on the implementation of matched spending cuts. President Joe Biden has thus far resisted negotiating with congressional Republicans.

Manchin, meanwhile, has urged members of his own party to seek a resolution with the opposing party. The Hill reported that neither McCarthy nor Manchin committed to any concessions, but that a source had described the encounter as a "good meeting."

McCarthy, for his part, may have little room to maneuver in the debt limit fight, as he previously made commitments to push for spending cuts to win over the support of his Republican detractors during the leadership fight. Moreover, he also agreed to a rules package that gave those very detractors a mechanism to again challenge his leadership should he renege on his commitments.

The House Speaker may further have to contend with the reality that Congress signed an omnibus spending package in December of last year, setting the government's budget for 2023 and leaving House Republicans with limited options.

The U.S. hit its $31.38 trillion debt ceiling last week, prompting Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to implement "extraordinary measures" to keep the government running.