Meeting Over Debt Ceiling Between Biden, Congressional Leaders Delayed to Next Week

Emel Akan
By Emel Akan
May 11, 2023Politicsshare
Meeting Over Debt Ceiling Between Biden, Congressional Leaders Delayed to Next Week
(L-R) President Joe Biden and Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) talk as they depart the U.S. Capitol following the Friends of Ireland Luncheon on Saint Patrick's Day in Washington March 17, 2023. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

A meeting between President Joe Biden and top congressional leaders that had been scheduled for May 12 to discuss the debt ceiling has been pushed back until next week, according to the White House.

The leaders were scheduled to meet to discuss lifting the debt ceiling in order to avoid a default on the country’s debt obligations before the June 1 deadline.

“Staff will continue working, and all the principals agreed to meet early next week,” a White House spokesperson told The Epoch Times.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told reporters that the postponement doesn’t mean that talks with the president have fallen apart, confirming that the meeting had been rescheduled. He said there hasn’t been sufficient progress for a follow-up meeting this week.

“This is a positive development. Meetings are progressing. Staff is continuing to meet, and it wasn’t the right moment to bring it back to principals,” a source familiar with meetings told The Epoch Times.

On May 9, Biden met with McCarthy and other congressional leaders at the White House following a three-month deadlock over the debt ceiling.

“We agreed to continue our discussions, and we’re going to meet again on Friday,” Biden told reporters after the meeting, noting that until then, staff from both sides will meet daily to discuss progress.

The current limit on federal borrowing in the United States is $31.4 trillion. And although the nation has never defaulted on its debt before, according to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, that could change as soon as early June if the debt limit isn’t lifted.

“Everybody in this meeting reiterated the positions they were at,” McCarthy told reporters outside the White House after the meeting on May 9. “I didn’t see any new movement.

“I think the best thing that we can do is find places where we can eliminate waste, find places that we can grow this economy, and that’s exactly what the House bill does.”

In April, House Republicans passed the “Limit, Save, Grow Act,” which would cap federal spending for fiscal year 2024 at 2022 levels to help offset raising the debt ceiling by $1.5 trillion, or through March 2024. The 320-page bill seeks to restore discretionary spending to 2022 levels and limit spending growth to 1 percent per year.

However, the White House dismissed the Republican proposal, accusing House Republicans of proposing “harmful cuts to veterans’ care, public safety, education, and more.”

McCarthy has proposed “a very different way forward,” Biden said after the meeting.

“I’m not sure,” he said. “I don’t think they’re sure exactly what they’re proposing.”

However, Biden didn’t rule out a short-term extension of the debt ceiling.

On May 10, the president pressured Republicans again in a speech in New York, calling their threats over the debt ceiling “dangerous” and meaningless.

“If we default on our debt, the whole world is in trouble. This is a manufactured crisis,” Biden said. “America is the strongest economy in the world. And we should be cutting spending and lowering the deficit without a needless crisis in a responsible way.”

When asked if Biden is considering delaying his trip to the Group of Seven (G-7) Leaders’ Summit in Japan next week, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on May 10 that the president is “committed to going to the G-7. … But preventing default is the single most important thing on his agenda.”

From The Epoch Times

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