Headline RoundupMay 19th, 2023

Debt Negotiations Resume After House Republicans Temporarily ‘Pause’ Talks With White House

Summary from the AllSides News Team

Debt ceiling negotiations resumed Friday after House Republicans walked out of talks with the White House earlier in the day.

Key Quotes: Insisting that “we can’t be spending more money next year,” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) had said negotiations were on “pause” because of a lack of “movement” by the White House. Meanwhile, an anonymous White House official told reporters a “reasonable bipartisan budget agreement” was still possible “as long as both sides recognize that they won’t get everything they want and compromise is necessary.”

For Context: Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned that the government could be unable to pay its debts as early as June 1. News coverage had described the impasse as “abrupt,” since both sides had projected optimism as recently as Thursday. However, negotiations were complicated when the conservative House Freedom Caucus called for halting debt limit discussions unless the Senate passed House Republicans’ spending cuts bill. On the other side of the aisle, progressive Democrats are reportedly concerned about concessions Biden may make to House Republicans. 

How the Media Covered It: Coverage appeared to differ across the spectrum on whether Republicans instigated the pause or if both sides were responsible. While National Review (Right bias) said Republicans “walked out” of the negotiations, Fox News (Right bias) only said talks had “stalled.” While coverage was generally not particularly sensational, a Semafor (Lean Left bias) tagline questioned whether the House Freedom Caucus was “afraid of success.”

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