House Speaker questions the inclusion of Medicare and Social Security proposals, suspecting an attempt to disrupt debt ceiling negotiations
From the perspective of CNN’s Hill Team
In the latest development surrounding the debt ceiling negotiations, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has voiced concerns that President Joe Biden’s inclusion of proposals related to Medicare and Social Security could potentially disrupt the ongoing discussions.
McCarthy highlighted a specific proposal that aims to expand the range of drugs for which Medicare can negotiate prices. This move, building upon a provision in the Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA), could potentially save the government money. However, McCarthy expressed skepticism, stating, “The president said, ‘You can’t do anything with Medicare and Social Security,’ and now he wants to bring that into the fold.” McCarthy emphasized that this stance had been echoed by people across the country, and he seemed apprehensive about this sudden change in approach. He likened it to attempts to introduce taxes into the negotiations, emphasizing the need to remain focused on the task at hand.
During his remarks, McCarthy also expressed a desire for longer spending periods, suggesting that such an extension would contribute to the country’s overall well-being.
In response to McCarthy’s concerns, the White House reiterated that cuts to Social Security and Medicare were not on the table for the debt ceiling negotiations. However, they have consistently signaled an interest in expanding Medicare’s ability to negotiate drug prices, which could generate additional revenue by including a broader range of prescription drugs.
As negotiations continue, McCarthy expressed hope for progress, acknowledging the ongoing efforts in the conference room. The discussions surrounding the debt ceiling remain a crucial point of focus for policymakers, and the inclusion of Medicare and Social Security proposals has added a new layer of complexity to the talks.