Sticking points in US debt ceiling talks

The US administration of President Joe Biden and the Republican Party have remained wide apart in their negotiations on the government debt ceiling.

A Republican-sponsored bill aimed at raising the ceiling and cutting expenditures has passed the House of Representatives, where the party has a majority.

The bill calls for abolishing or revising tax exemptions for renewable energy and electric vehicles, which are pet projects of the Biden administration.

The draft legislation proposes stricter eligibility screenings for Medicaid, a medical insurance scheme for low-income people, as well as for food assistance.

It also calls for speeding up the approval and authorization process for development projects for oil, natural gas and minerals.

The Biden administration is rejecting the proposals, arguing that they could risk healthcare for 21 million people and food assistance for nearly one million people.

It says that in addition to its own proposal to cut the fiscal deficit by nearly 3 trillion dollars, it plans to reduce spending by more than 1 trillion dollars.

The administration also argues that ways to increase revenues should be considered, such as scrapping 30 billion-dollar tax breaks for the oil industry that were introduced by the former Trump administration.

But Republican Jodey Arrington, who heads the House budget committee, indicated on Sunday that his party will reject the administration's proposal for scrapping tax breaks.

Speaking to ABC television on Sunday, Arrington said, "The American people understand that the cost of living crisis that they're suffering with is a result of spending, not because we have low taxes."

He urged President Biden to change his stance for debt ceiling talks.

Arrington added that the Republican bill is aimed at dealing with "the spending problem that's driving the inflation crisis" and "this massive and unsustainable debt that we're carrying as a country."