Dem lawmaker says he'd to a debt ceiling deal, even if the Republicans don't give in

 May 21, 2023

U.S. Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) just said that he would "accept" a debt ceiling with Republicans even if Republicans fail to meet Democrats halfway. 

Clyburn said as much during an interview that he did Friday on CNN's Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace.

Has Biden caved to Republicans?

There, host Chris Wallace and Clyburn discussed the ongoing debt ceiling negotiations between President Joe Biden and the Republicans.

Wallace began by asking Clyburn:

For months President Biden said that he wouldn't negotiate with Republicans over the debt limit. But, right now, they're in intense talks . . . Hasn't the president caved on his demand for a clean debt ceiling, and, in effect, didn't he waste three months insisting that there be no conditions and now when were under the gun he's agreeing to conditions?

Clyburn began by claiming that there is a "big difference" between "negotiating the debt limit and having negotiations on the future in parallel."

But, since Clyburn didn't address his question, Wallace reasked it.

This time Clyburn said that he does not believe that Biden has caved to Republicans. Clyburn insisted that Biden is only negotiating future spending and not the debt deal - that Biden is still pursuing a "clean" debt ceiling.

Don't have "to always meet in the middle"

Then, Wallace asked Clyburn this:

If [Biden] agrees to a deal to get — to avoid default, to get the debt limit increased, and it includes clawing back some of the COVID spending, putting caps on domestic spending but not on the Pentagon, and maybe even new work requirements for people getting federal aid, what are you going to do? This is your guy.

"I’m going to compare what he does to what’s been done on the other side. That’s all I’m going to do," Clyburn replied.

Wallace followed up, asking, "And if you feel that he’s had to give more than he’s gotten?"

That's when Clyburn said:

Well, that all depends, whether or not I think there’s a fair exchange, that, to me, is always — I’ve said all of my life, if the distance between me and a partner on any issue [is] five steps, I don’t mind taking three of them. That’s the way I feel. I don’t think you have to always meet in the middle. So, I don’t mind taking three out of five, but I ain’t going to take all five.

The latest

At the time of this writing, Biden was set to meet with Republicans on Sunday in order to discuss the latest debt ceiling offers between the two sides.

Biden, according to reports, is not happy with the Republicans' offer, but he has said that he would be willing to cut some spending and make some tax adjustments.

It remains to be seen how many of those five steps Biden is willing to let the Republicans have. But, it definitely appears to be more now than it was several weeks ago.

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