Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said on Thursday that he’s “moderately optimistic” about where the ongoing debt limit negotiations sit.
During an appearance on WABC 770 AM’s “Cats & Cosby Show,” Gingrich said negotiators on both sides have been meeting nonstop to get a deal done, adding that both President Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) will not let country default.
“Speaker McCarthy had pledged that it would be 72 hours between the drafting of a bill and getting a vote on it,” he explained host John Catsimatidis. ” So the members know they’re probably not going to be voting before, I would say, Wednesday or Thursday at the earliest.”
Gingrich added that an agreement on the deal might be announced in the “next couple of days,” but it would still have to be written into a new bill. He acknowledged that the agreement would also have to be accepted by both sides of the aisle, and both chambers of Congress.
In the end, he said he believes McCarthy may get only 80 or 85 percent of what he wants in the bill — including spending cuts.
“My prediction is that this will be the first debt ceiling in history where they actually cut spending,” Gingrich said, later adding that it will be “a big breakthrough for fiscal conservatives.”
“I’m moderately optimistic that it will work out,” he said, while pointing out that a deal would be “a successful moment,” but “it’s not done yet.”
Gingrich’s remarks come as Republicans and Democrats continue negotiations on reaching a final debt ceiling deal before the June 1 deadline, when the Treasury Department says that a possible default could occur. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen reiterated Wednesday that “it seems almost certain that we will not be able to get past early June.”
The former House Speaker claimed that the Treasury can “find ways” to move money around “for a while,” and thus there are “some extra days” before the country would default.
He added that he doesn’t expect the debt ceiling bill to address the ongoing border crisis, noting a possibility of IRS agents being transferred to the reign.
“[There will be] a big fight all fall over appropriations,” Gingrich said. “That’s where we’ll see a specific provision that says they have to control the border.”
“It’s almost certainly going to come up in the appropriations bills,” he continued. “And that’s where that fight will happen.”