Headline RoundupMay 23rd, 2023

Debt Ceiling Deal Remains Elusive as Democrats Offer Spending Freeze

AllSides Summary

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said negotiators were “nowhere near a deal” to raise the debt ceiling as they continued to debate capping future federal spending. 

Latest Developments: Both McCarthy and President Joe Biden said their Monday meeting had been “productive,” but no deal was reached. Democratic negotiators have reportedly offered to freeze discretionary spending at current levels in exchange for Republican support for raising the debt limit, but Republicans have insisted on cutting future spending. House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) called the spending cap proposal “inherently reasonable” on Monday, frustrating some progressives. Another round of talks on Tuesday morning reportedly ended with no signs of progress. 

For Context: With a divided government, at least some House Republican votes are needed to raise the debt limit and avoid a default. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said the government could stop being able to pay its bills as early as June 1 — now about one week away — but others have suggested the true deadline could be later. 

How the Media Covered It: Coverage was common across the spectrum. Coverage of Jeffries’ comments appeared more common in left-leaning or progressive outlets. NPR (Lean Left bias) highlighted poll data showing a “slim majority” of support for raising the debt ceiling and discussing spending later. 

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