WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden said he and congressional leaders had a “productive” meeting Tuesday on trying to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, though no agreement was reached, and they will meet again Friday to discuss the risks. can be tried to reduce. Unprecedented government lapse.
Speaking at the White House, Biden declared, “Default is not an option.”
Lawmakers and their staffers were to meet Tuesday evening on government spending, as Biden said he was willing to engage in a debate on reducing the deficit, but only if the government’s full faith and credit was assured.
“I told leaders in Congress that I am open to starting a separate discussion about our budget, spending priorities, but not under threat of default,” Biden said.
This is breaking news update. Below is an earlier AP story.
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden and congressional leaders ended their first talks on the debt ceiling impasse Tuesday without major breakthroughs, but they did little to try to reduce the risk in weeks of an unprecedented government default. At least agreed to meet again on Friday.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said after a high-stakes Oval Office meeting that he “sees no new movement” toward resolving the impasse. The annual federal budget on Biden’s stimulus. Democrats indicated openness to some spending cuts, as long as they were not associated with the threat of default.
“I asked the president this simple question, does he not believe there is any place where we can find savings,” McCarthy told reporters outside the White House. “All I am asking is that we spend as much money as we did five months ago.
Biden was delivering his remarks on Tuesday evening.
Republicans came to the White House hoping to negotiate broad cuts in federal spending in exchange for allowing new borrowing to avoid default. Biden, on the other hand, reinforced his opposition to allowing the country’s full faith and credit to be “hostage” to negotiations — while reaffirming his willingness to negotiate a budget with default no longer a threat. .
As the president welcomed McCarthy, Jeffries, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to the Oval Office for more than an hour, he told reporters, “We’re going to start, all the problems in the world.” Will solve.”
It seemed there was at least some daylight between McConnell, who let his House counterpart lead the negotiations and backed them up before the White House meeting, and McCarthy.
The leader of the Senate bluntly stated, “The United States is not going to default. It has never happened and it never will.” The speaker, however, simply said, “I have done everything in my power to make sure that we will not default.”
Democrats said there was room to “come together” on spending cuts as part of the budget process, but immediately jumped on McCarthy’s refusal to rule out the possibility of a default, with Schumer saying Republicans “suffer America a lot.” Endangering.”
“To use the risk of default, with all that risk, as a hostage to the American people and say whether it’s my way or not, mostly whether it’s my way or not, is dangerous,” Schumer said.
McCarthy said Biden had instructed his staff to continue discussions, and that the leaders themselves would be meeting again in person on Friday.
Before the White House meeting, both McCarthy and White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stressed that the default would be easy to avert – if only the other side surrendered.
The gap between these opposite currencies is fueling the uncertainty that is roiling financial markets and threatening to turn the country’s economy into a tidal wave that is swallowing up. The meeting was scheduled to start after US financial markets had closed for the day.
McCarthy said Tuesday that a federal debt deal is needed by next week if Washington is to meet the June 1 deadline, and he said he sees no reason why both sides should cut spending in exchange for Republican views. For quickly can not come to an agreement. Increase in loan limit.
“I don’t think it’s going to be that difficult,” McCarthy told reporters at the US Capitol.
Biden and the Democrats don’t see it that way. The president has been insisting that raising the debt ceiling is unenforceable, with a moratorium on spending set aside as part of the annual budget process.
House Republicans recently passed a comprehensive bill to reduce spending, which was an early proposal in the negotiations. But that legislation has no chance in the Democratic Senate and the White House has threatened to veto it.
Referring to the House bill, McCarthy said, “We both said default is not an option – but only one of us took action.”
There was little hope of success on Tuesday.
Default, officials say, would have cascading effects, threatening to disrupt Social Security payments to retirees, destabilizing global markets and plunging the country into a potentially debilitating recession.
Given the meeting is already underway, on Wednesday Biden is scheduled to visit Westchester County, New York, where he plans to deliver a speech on how proposed spending cuts approved by House Republicans will help teachers, older adults needing food assistance and health care. May harm veterans seeking
It’s part of a broader campaign by Biden to portray the Republican cuts as draconian. Aides believe the message strengthens his position in negotiations with the GOP and boosts his nascent 2024 efforts. His Wednesday trip will take place in a congressional district won by Biden in 2020 but now represented by Rep. Mike Lawler, a Republican.
Because the House Republican bill doesn’t specifically spell out which federal programs would be cut, Democrats have warned of severe hits to popular programs. House Majority Forward, a Democratic-aligned group, announced a $1 million campaign Tuesday raising such cuts, while House Republicans’ campaign committee touts its own efforts, portraying Democrats as “spending addicts.” competed with.
Calling for a “clean” increase in the debt ceiling, Biden has said he is open to discussions on how to reduce the federal deficit. His budget plan would reduce the deficit by nearly $3 trillion over a decade, primarily through changes such as increasing taxes on the wealthy and allowing the government to negotiate drug prices.
In contrast, the bill that passed the House with Republican votes would save the deficit through reversing Biden’s plans to cut spending, eliminate tax breaks for investing in clean energy, and reduce the burden of student loan debt. would receive $4.5 trillion.
While financial markets have begun to show some jitters, the business community has so far largely refrained from supporting either side in the showdown and has instead called for a deal.
“It couldn’t be more urgent to secure a bipartisan path to raising the debt ceiling,” said Josh Bolton, head of Business Roundtable, a group representing CEOs. “The cost of a default, or even the threat of a default, is very high.”
“There are no two better places to start than allowing reform and an agreement on spending limits,” the US Chamber of Commerce suggested on Tuesday of its priorities for a quick deal.
Biden’s refusal to negotiate the debt ceiling reflects his firsthand experience in 2011, when he was Barack Obama’s vice president and the administration made painful concessions to Republicans in an effort to avoid default. Biden has told aides that it is an experience he refuses to repeat, not only for himself but for future presidents.
Notably, however, the administration has not ruled out a short-term increase in the debt ceiling that would align the deadline for increasing federal borrowing authority with talks on government spending that must be resolved by Sept. 30.
There is a possibility that Biden may act on his own, possibly invoking the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution which says the legality of federal debt shall not be questioned. But McCarthy said those topics were not part of the discussion: “None of it was brought up.”
Zeke Miller, Seung Min Kim, Josh Boak and Lisa Mascaro, The Associated Press