By Morgan Phillips, U.S. Political Reporter For Dailymail.Com
19:31 17 Mar 2023, updated 20:41 17 Mar 2023
- Biden added there’s no reason ‘we can’t find common ground’ and that he hopes ‘we can turn this breakfast into more of an everyday relationship’
- McCarthy joked that a ‘clash is brewing’ between him and the president, asked Irish PM to decide ‘Which one of us is more Irish?’
- It was the first time Biden and McCarthy had seen each other since their debct ceiling meeting seven weeks ago
President Biden and Speaker Kevin McCarthy were all smiles and warm sentiments at a Friends of Ireland lunch between the pair, putting aside a bitter standoff brewing over the debt ceiling.
The pair agreed they wanted to have a friendly relationship despite their differences fashioned after that of Republican President Ronald Reagan and Democrat Speaker Tip O’Neill — two other Irish Americans of years past.
‘Our positions may be reversed, but our goals are the same – we put this country first,’ McCarthy said at the lunch on Capitol Hill.
Biden agreed in his own address, adding that he’s the ‘only Irish man you’ve ever met though that’s never had a drink.
Biden added there’s no reason ‘we can’t find common ground’ and that he hopes ‘we can turn this breakfast into more of an everyday relationship.’
‘There’s no reason why we can’t hope to change this direction of extremism of both our parties,’ Biden said, adding that it’s about the ‘power of friendship.’
‘Nice job,’ the speaker whispered to the president as he sat down beside him at the conclusion of his remarks.
It was the first time the pair had seen each other in seven weeks since their initial meeting over raising the $31.4 trillion debt ceiling. McCarthy has knocked Biden for not inviting him to meet again yet while the president said he will do so once Republicans release their own budget proposal.
Biden released his $6.8 trillion proposal last week, which the speaker called ‘completely unserious.’
McCarthy cracked a joke about the war of words over the bitter budget battle shaping up between the GOP-led house and the president.
McCarthy told Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: ‘That a clash is brewing, people say, between the president and I of what should we do, What would be the ramifications for the entire nation the coming months, that I think you might be able to settle— which one of us is more Irish.’
Varadkar praised the U.S.’s position as ‘leader of the free world’ in supporting Ukraine. ‘To be silent means to surrender.’
McCarthy got a round of applause as he thanked former Speaker Nancy Pelosi for attending the lunch.
He also praised Joe Kennedy, the US Special Envoy to Northern Ireland, saying the Massachusetts Democrat had been a ‘good member of Congress’ and a close friend.
McCarthy said when he celebrated with Kennedy after the birth of his first child Ellie, McCarthy joked that the baby would follow in his own footsteps – ‘Born into an Irish Democrat family and she’s going to become a Republican.’
Biden and McCarthy do not yet have another meeting on the books to talk budgets but must come to agreement before a June deadline to raise the debt ceiling. Biden wants a clean raise to the nation’s $31.4 trillion borrowing limit, McCarthy says his party won’t agree to lift the ceiling unless there are cuts in the budget.
Neither Biden nor McCarthy took questions as the speaker saw the president off. Ahead of the lunch, McCarthy spoke to reporters briefly where he was asked about his 2024 endorsement.
‘I could endorse, but I haven’t,’ the speaker said, remaining coy about whether or not he will back Donald Trump or a different candidate.
News Source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11873491/amp/Which-one-Irish-Kevin-McCarthy-jokes-clash-Biden.html