WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Despite a looming deadline to raise the debt ceiling, lawmakers are skipping town and heading back home for the holiday weekend.
This should not impact negotiations between President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s, R-Calif., team. Lawmakers are essentially on call to return to Washington at any moment to vote on a compromised deal, but it remains unclear how negotiators will get there.
“We’re less than a week from defaulting on our debt,” said Rep. Don Davis, D-N.C. “We should all be outraged, and we should all be here.”
Before leaving for the holiday weekend without a debt ceiling deal, Democrats took to the House floor to air their frustrations.
“Five Republicans could join all 213 Democrats and left the debt ceiling right now,” said Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash. “But they went home.”
Rep. Jodey Arrington, R-Texas, said Republicans already did their job by passing a plan to cut spending and raise the debt ceiling.
“We’ve done the responsible thing,” Arrington said.
With just seven days to go before the potential deadline, pressure is mounting for Biden and McCarthy to cut a deal both parties can get behind.
“I’ve put forward a proposal that will cut spending by more than $1 trillion,” Biden said.
On Thursday, Biden said negotiators are making progress each day, but he said Democrats will not support cuts that harm the American people.
“Huge cuts in the number of teachers, police officers, border patrol agents,” Biden said.
Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., said she hopes McCarthy stands firm and doesn’t scrap cost-saving measures like work requirements for welfare programs.
“I think there is some concern where cuts will end up in this, but if we get those, I think all will be fine,” Mace said.
Negotiators have a tough job on their hands over the next few days. Although the deadline is June 1, McCarthy has vowed to give lawmakers 72 hours to review the bill before holding a vote.