President Joe Biden snapped at a reporter on Tuesday for asking a simple question about ongoing debt ceiling negotiations.
In January, the U.S. reached its debt ceiling, a statutory limitation on how much debt liability the U.S. government may accumulate. The Treasury Department responded by taking "extraordinary measures" to prevent default. But those measures will expire next month, and without a deal to raise the debt ceiling, the U.S. could default on its debt.
The U.S. is skating dangerously close to default because lawmakers and Biden cannot come to a deal. Republicans want to slash government spending — and stop the snowball of growing debt — but Biden and the Democrats have mostly refused to concede to spending cuts.
At a press conference following a meeting with congressional leaders about the negotiations, a reporter asked Biden about his apparent refusal to agree to spending cuts.
"Speaker McCarthy said that he asked you numerous times if there was anywhere in the federal budget for cuts, but he did not get an answer. So is there anywhere —" the reporter asked before Biden interrupted him.
"He got a specific answer. He got a specific answer again today," the president interjected.
"Which is what?" the reporter followed up.
"Well, you didn't listen either. So why should I even answer the question?" Biden snapped. "We cut the deficit by $160 billion — billion — B-I-L-L-I-O-N — dollars on the Medicare deal. We cut the deficit by raising the tax on people making — 55 corporations that made $40 billion to — 15 percent. And the list goes on."
Biden went on to imply the problem with Republicans is they are demanding general, not specific, spending cuts.
But that's not true. House Republicans passed a bill last month with very specific spending cuts, including taking back unused pandemic relief money, cutting IRS spending, and repealing expensive tax credits. The bill also caps future federal discretionary spending.
It's also not true that Biden has cut the deficit. CNN reported in March:
Biden has repeatedly taken credit for reducing the deficit in 2021 and 2022 even though experts have said that the vast majority of this reduction occurred simply because emergency Covid-19 pandemic spending from 2020 expired as planned – and that Biden’s own initiatives made the deficits higher than they otherwise would be.
Meanwhile, Biden also said on Tuesday that he is open to using the 14th Amendment to circumvent the debt ceiling. It's not clear, however, if the legal theory is constitutional.
Like Blaze News? Bypass the censors, sign up for our newsletters, and get stories like this direct to your inbox. Sign up here!