McCarthy has long bashed Biden for refusing to negotiate with him over the debt limit since their last meeting in February. Biden has countered that Republicans lack a viable counterproposal to his calls for a clean increase in the nation's borrowing authority.
"Of course, I’ll speak to him. Show me his budget," Biden told reporters during a brief gaggle early Saturday morning, per a White House transcript. "That old expression — 'show me your budget.' You know, he — we agreed early on, I'd lay down a budget, which I did on March 9th, and he’d lay down a budget."
"I don't know what we're negotiating if I don't know what they want," Biden added.
The White House has insisted that an increase in the debt ceiling come without preconditions. But McCarthy has demanded it is coupled with a clawback in spending.
Biden rolled out a $6.9 trillion spending proposal last month, drawing fierce opposition from Republicans keen on paring down spending. McCarthy has yet to introduce a budget of his own, though the House Freedom Caucus released its principles for budgetary reforms last month.
Back in January, the United States hit its $31.4 trillion debt limit, but the Treasury Department has been undertaking "extraordinary" measures to keep money flowing to government programs. Those measures are expected to run out between June and August, according to various estimates.
Should that happen, the government would no longer be able to fund all of its programs, possibly including the interest on the debt, which would mean a default. That is because Congress's budgeting package authorized late last year relies on deficit spending.
"If you gave your child a credit card and they kept hitting the limit, you wouldn’t just raise their credit limit—you’d sit down and help them figure out where they could cut back on spending," McCarthy tweeted on Saturday. "The same is true of our debt. Now is the time for a responsible debt limit increase."
If you gave your child a credit card and they kept hitting the limit, you wouldn’t just raise their credit limit—you’d sit down and help them figure out where they could cut back on spending.— Kevin McCarthy (@SpeakerMcCarthy) April 15, 2023
The same is true of our debt. Now is the time for a responsible debt limit increase. pic.twitter.com/pW6zIE1e0z
So far, neither side has shown signs of blinking on the debt limit standoff. McCarthy is set to give an address on the economy at the New York Stock Exchange Monday amid reports that a Republican proposal for a path forward has taken shape.
Biden had embarked on a four-day trip this week to Northern Ireland, elsewhere in the United Kingdom, and Ireland to mark the 25th anniversary of the landmark Good Friday agreement, which mostly quelled three decades of violence in the region.