'Soft food': Kevin McCarthy mocks President Joe Biden's age while trying to cut spending
Republican Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, whose stated goal is to drastically cut federal spending and is targeting critical and life-saving social safety net programs that protect low-income families, children, and the elderly, on Thursday attacked President Joe Biden by mocking his age.
McCarthy, who weeks ago admitted House Republicans would not meet an April 1 deadline to submit their budget, has repeatedly attacked President Biden’s budget, as have many House Republicans who during the Trump administration passed prohibitively expensive tax cuts for the wealthy that have blown up the debt.
In early March, President Biden unveiled his fiscal 2024 budget, which he said was designed to “give working people a fighting chance.”
“My budget reflects what we can do to lift the burden and hardworking Americans and there’s more than one way to do that,” Biden said, as Spectrum News reported, noting he touted “a number of the initiatives in the proposal — from lowering prescription drug prices to investing in paid family and medical leave — calling them crucial to reducing costs for the American people and bolstering the economy.”
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“All the things are going to help folks go to work, generate economic growth in our nation and still take care of their families,” the President also said. “The point is that when every time I talk about things, people talk about like ‘this is an overwhelming burden on the taxpayer.’ It’s going to save money for the taxpayers. It really does! Save money for the taxpayers and generate growth. That’s how the economy grows.”
McCarthy has been trying to play offense, attacking the President’s plan, not presenting even a rough draft of the Republican’s budget, and demanding Biden meet with him even though the President has said he will only when there is a full set of numbers on the table.
The Speaker’s goal in part is “requiring more people on welfare to work,” as a USA Today headline on Thursday states. Bloomberg News reports McCarthy wants to impose “tougher work requirements on anti-poverty benefits.”
“I put forward specific proposals for how to cut deficits by nearly $3 trillion over 10 years by having big corporations and the super-wealthy pay their fair share, cutting special interest subsidies like tax breaks for the oil and gas industry – some of the most profitable companies in America, and expanding Medicare’s new ability to negotiate lower drug prices with pharmaceutical companies. My proposals enable us to lower costs for families and invest in our economic growth, all while reducing the deficit,” President Biden said Wednesday in a letter (below) to McCarthy.
“Unfortunately, the tax proposals from the House Republican Conference would exacerbate the debt problem I inherited by adding over $3 trillion in new tax spending skewed to the same constituencies who should be paying more, like multinational corporations and the richest taxpayers,” Biden added.
“That is one reason why seeing your full set of proposals would be useful before we meet, so we can understand the full, combined impact on the deficit, the economy, and American families.”
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“My hope is that House Republicans can present the American public with your budget plan before the Congress leaves for the Easter recess [next week], so that we can have an in-depth conversation when you return. As I have repeatedly said, that conversation must be separate from prompt action on the Congress’ basic obligation to pay the Nation’s bills and avoid economic catastrophe,” Biden added.
The Speaker appears to be setting the stage to allow the United States to default on its debt, while pinning the blame on President Biden.
McCarthy is demanding massive cuts be attached to any efforts to raise the debt ceiling, while President Biden has repeatedly asked for a “clean” bill, one without any other measures attached.
If Congress does not pass legislation raising or eliminating the debt ceiling by June, the nation and the world would face “an unprecedented and potentially catastrophic default on U.S. debt,” as NPR noted.
Rather than appear willing to negotiate on the debt ceiling, on Thursday McCarthy at a GOP press conference attacked President Biden’s age.
President Biden “apparently doesn’t want to meet. I don’t understand why,” the Speaker said, as Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman reports.
“Mr. President, I’m ready at any time, at any moment. I’ll come tonight,” he added.
And then, clearly mocking President Biden’s age, McCarthy said: “I would bring lunch to the White House. I would make it soft food.”
HuffPost adds, “House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.), 57, and House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), 62, were among those laughing along with McCarthy.”
“When HuffPost asked Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), who was among those speaking at the press conference, what sort of soft food McCarthy might bring to Biden, she laughed uncomfortably. ‘Oh, you’ll have to ask Kevin about that,’ she said.”
Watch McCarthy’s remarks below or at this link.
Watch the videos above or at this link.
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