Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said on Thursday that House Republicans will not target Medicare or Social Security in their negotiations over the debt ceiling.
“We won’t touch Medicare or Social Security,” he told Donald Trump Jr. in an interview in the Speaker’s office for Trump Jr.’s “Triggered” podcast.
The remark comes as some House Republicans have been eyeing entitlement programs as a potential target for trimming down federal spending, after vowing to tie an increase in the debt limit to spending cuts.
Since the U.S. hit its debt ceiling on Jan. 19, Congress now faces a looming deadline to raise the debt limit and prevent the government from defaulting on its debt. The Treasury Department began employing “extraordinary measures” to prevent such a default, which is expected to give Congress until early June to address the issue.
However, President Biden and congressional Democrats have so far refused to negotiate on the debt ceiling, instead calling for a clean increase and teeing up a potential showdown with Republicans.
As divisions have emerged within the GOP over whether to target entitlement programs, former President Trump warned Republicans last week to look elsewhere for their spending cuts.
“Under no circumstances should Republicans vote to cut a single penny from Medicare or Social Security to help pay for Joe Biden’s reckless spending spree,” Trump said in a video statement posted to Truth Social.
“While we absolutely need to stop Biden’s out of control spending, the pain should be borne by Washington bureaucrats, not by hard-working American families and American seniors,” he added. “The seniors are being absolutely destroyed in the last two years.”