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Biden and McCarthy meet again on the debt ceiling

President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy Hanging out at the White House again Monday evening, as they ran out of time to strike a debt ceiling deal.

At the top of their meeting, Mr. Biden said he and the speaker agreed that default was not an option and that they agreed on the need to reduce the federal deficit. But the president said Congress needs to look at tax loopholes. McCarthy said the two disagree, but can agree that the U.S. debt is too big.

“We’re hopeful we might be able to make some progress,” Mr. Biden said.

The president cut short his trip to Asia, returning from Japan late Sunday so he could work toward a deal in the final days before a June 1 deadline. Mr. Biden and Mr. McCarthy spoke by phone as the president boarded Air Force One on his way back to Washington as negotiators appointed by the president and the speaker tried to reach an agreement on a framework.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen Repeat on Monday That the US may be unable to pay its bills and default on its debt as soon as June 1, though That date could still slide Passing any legislation on both sides and through both chambers of Congress will take time, even once the president and McCarthy reach an agreement.

President Biden meets with Speaker McCarthy as debt ceiling talks continue

President Joe Biden meets with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) in the Oval Office of the White House on May 22, 2023 to discuss the debt ceiling to avoid a federal government default.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Negotiator in the hills on Friday appears to reach a deadlock, and took a short break from the discussion. On Saturday, McCarthy tweeted that the White House was “backtracking on negotiations,” blaming the “socialist wing of the Democrat Party” for the stall.

Rep. Patrick McHenry, Republican of North Carolina, told reporters after walking out of the debt ceiling talks Monday morning that negotiations are in a “sensitive” place.

A White House official said the speaker and the president agreed Tuesday that the final product must be bipartisan. But the official claimed that by the end of the week, the Speaker’s team had walked away from some of the options discussed. For example, the speaker’s team has proposed an additional cut to food assistance that was not in the House-passed bill, and an annual funding cap three times higher than the recent budget deal, the White House official said.

But McHenry said that’s “not the case” that Republicans are pushing the House GOP bill out.

Mr. Biden opened a press conference in Hiroshima, Japan, saying he had cut more than $1 trillion in spending and that “it’s time for the other side to move their extreme positions because most of what they’ve already proposed is very frankly, unacceptable.”

The president said he could not promise world leaders gathered for the G-7 talks that the United States would default on its debt.

“I can’t guarantee they won’t do something outrageous and force a default,” Mr. Biden said of Republicans.

McCarthy told reporters on Sunday that his conversation with the president on Sunday “went well.”

The Speaker plans to take questions from reporters at 7 p.m

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Catherine Watson


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