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It seemed, for a moment, as if there was a potential thaw in an intractable debt ceiling fight. Speaking to reporters from an ornate hall on Wednesday, Speaker Kevin McCarthy said Republicans were ready to give Democrats key concessions.
And then, he revealed what the concessions were: caps on spending and new work requirements for social safety programs.
McCarthy was referencing proposed cuts that a solitary senator, Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), had once proposed, and a work requirement reform that then-Sen. Joe Biden voted for in the ‘90s. His “concessions” were, in reality, modern Republican demands. And his framing otherwise was a direct taunt of Democrats who steadfastly oppose both measures.