New York

Debt ceiling: House Speaker Kevin McCarthy says ‘no progress’ ahead of talks with President Biden on Tuesday

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said Monday that there was “no progress” in negotiations to raise the debt ceiling ahead of Tuesday’s White House meeting with President Joe Biden and other congressional leaders. . Statutory borrowing limits as country nears crisis over need to raise rates.

“That’s very concerning to me,” Republican Speaker McCarthy told reporters at the opening of the House.

He said there was “no progress” in staff-level talks that continued into the weekend. “And I’m very curious about the timeline of where we are right now.”

McCarthy confirmed that he and other congressional leaders will return to the White House on Tuesday to meet with Biden. The meeting was originally scheduled for Friday, but was hastily postponed as staff-level talks could continue into the weekend.

Time is ticking as Mr. Biden prepares to depart for the seven-party summit in Japan on Wednesday. The confrontation comes as the Treasury Department says it will be unable to pay its citizens’ bills as early as June 1. Biden’s National Security Council spokesman, John Kirby, said that for now, “we plan to leave as planned.”

Biden, who was in Philadelphia on Monday to attend his granddaughter Maisie’s University of Pennsylvania graduation, told reporters the meeting would take place on Tuesday but did not elaborate on the prospects for a deal. .

The president continued hoping he could reach a deal with Republicans to avoid an unprecedented debt default that could trigger a financial catastrophe.

“I’m an optimist by nature, so I stay optimistic,” Biden told reporters Sunday while out biking in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. “But we really think there is a desire on their part as much as we do to reach an agreement. I’m sure we can do it.”

An aide said talks continued throughout the weekend. Staffers have narrowed down four areas of potential agreement that could begin to form a budget agreement that would allow separate votes to boost the country’s borrowing capacity. The two sides are discussing issues such as recovering unused COVID-19 funds, capping future spending, allowing reforms to ease energy development and tightening labor requirements for government aid recipients, according to people familiar with the talks. It is said that there is

But there was little indication, at least in public, that Republicans in the White House and House had changed their original stance. Biden called on lawmakers to remove the debt ceiling without any preconditions and warned against using the country’s borrowing powers to impose drastic spending cuts or other conservative policy demands.

McCarthy’s Republicans want Biden to accept proposals for spending cuts, limits on future spending and other policy changes included in a policy package passed by House Republicans last month.

“We’re not at crisis point yet,” Biden told reporters on Saturday before heading to the beach house. “There are serious discussions about some changes that we can all make. We’re not there yet.”

Biden hinted over the weekend that he could accept tougher working conditions for certain government-supported programs proposed by Republicans as part of ongoing discussions. He said he would not accept anything that robs people of their health insurance.

“I voted for the tougher aid program currently mandated by law, but Medicaid is a different story,” he said. “So I’m waiting to hear what their exact proposal is.”

Administration officials said Biden and his leaders (Mr. McCarthy of California, House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, Senate Republican Mitch McConnell of Kentucky) After finishing the meeting, the hospital’s general manager said that so far the meetings between staff had been productive. The first meeting was held last Tuesday, but no progress was made.

Mr McCarthy later said he “didn’t see any new moves” toward resolving the standoff, but the president said the meeting in the Oval Office was “productive”. White House and congressional aides have been in talks since Wednesday.

“The staff are very enthusiastic. I want to rate this engagement as serious and constructive,” White House National Economic Council Chairman Lael Brainard told CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

McCarthy has argued that the federal government cannot continue spending at its current pace and has argued for using the threat of national default to contest spending changes. The national debt now stands at $31.4 trillion.

If the debt ceiling is raised, no new federal spending will be allowed. It would only allow borrowing to pay amounts already approved by Congress.

The Treasury Department said the government could run out of bill-paying capacity as early as June 1. The bipartisan Congressional Budget Office issued a similar warning on Friday, saying there was a “significant risk” of default within the first two weeks of next year. Month.

But federal estimates remain fluid.

The CBO said on Friday that if the Treasury Department’s cash flow and the “temporary measures” the ministry is currently adopting allow it to continue paying bills through June 15, the government could probably finance operations through the end of July. pointed out. Tax revenues and other measures expected in mid-June will keep the federal government well-funded for at least a few more weeks.

“What ultimately matters is that the United States has never defaulted,” Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adiemo said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. “And you can’t.”

And Rep. Michael McCall (R-Tex.) said on ABC’s “This Week”: That’s why I’m an eternal optimist. ”

He added, “This is the usual game, Congress by Congress, of trying to jump off a cliff at each other. It’s a dangerous game.”

Copyright © 2023 The Washington Times LLC. Debt ceiling: House Speaker Kevin McCarthy says ‘no progress’ ahead of talks with President Biden on Tuesday

Back to top button