Biden, Congressional Leaders Postpone Debt Ceiling Meeting

May 12, 2023 by Dan McCue
Biden, Congressional Leaders Postpone Debt Ceiling Meeting
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of Calif., left, standing next to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., right, speaks to reporters outside of the West Wing of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, May 9, 2023, following a meeting with President Joe Biden on the debt limit. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON — There will be no meeting between President Joe Biden and congressional leaders over the debt ceiling on Friday after they mutually agreed to give staff more time to work out the framework of a deal.

Biden, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., were expected to continue talks on lifting the nation’s debt limit today, as the clock ticks forward to a possible first-time ever U.S default on its loan obligations.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has suggested the nation could reach the so-called “X-date” — the day it can no longer legally borrow money to pay its debts, by June 1.

An hour-and-fifteen-minute meeting on Tuesday ended with no resolution. Since then, Louisa Terrell, director of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs, and her staff, have been meeting with their counterparts on the Hill in an effort to move the talks forward.

Sources familiar with the talks said a two-hour meeting on the Hill Thursday was “productive,” just not productive enough to warrant a second meeting by the leaders.

During a press conference at the Capitol Thursday night, McCarthy reiterated that the decision to postpone Friday’s meeting was mutual and that the four leaders would get together to talk again sometime next week.

“All of the leaders decided it was probably in our best interest to let the staff meet again before we get back together,” McCarthy said, adding he had not seen a “seriousness” from the White House about wanting a deal.

“It seems like they want a default more than they want a deal,” he said.

During her press briefing on Thursday, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre spoke only briefly about the debt ceiling situation, and then, only in response to a question about a statement former President Donald Trump made during his CNN Town Hall the previous night.

“Look, we’ve been very clear that Congress needs to do their job,” Jean-Pierre said. “They must do their job. It’s their constitutional duty to get this done. We’ve done it three times under the last administration. We’ve done it 78 times since 1960.”

In a “Dear Colleague” letter distributed to members of the Senate Democratic Caucus on Friday morning, Schumer said his message, and that of Biden and Jeffries, to the Republican leaders on Tuesday was clear: “Take default off the table.” 

“The American people overwhelmingly agree,” Schumer said. “A recent Washington Post-ABC poll found that 58% of U.S. adults believe that the nation’s debt payment and federal spending decisions should be handled separately, with only a meager 26% arguing the two should be linked, as congressional Republicans have insisted.”

The Senate majority leader went on to say that the United States’ first-ever default would be catastrophic for the American people and the nation’s future, crashing the economy, increasing costs on everything from mortgages and car payments to small business loans, and it would force employers to shed millions of jobs.

“For a fulsome analysis of the fallout of default, I encourage you to read the updated Joint Economic Committee report and to share the sobering findings far and wide with your constituents in your state,” Schumer wrote.

He went on to say that the Democrats “welcome” a bipartisan debate about the nation’s fiscal future.

“But as the president, leader Jeffries and I made plain to our Republican colleagues, we must not do so under the reckless threat of catastrophic default by the hard-right,” he said. “This is too important for brinkmanship and reckless ultimatums. … The clock is ticking.”

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue

A+
a-
  • Congress
  • debt ceiling
  • Joe Biden
  • Kevin McCarthy
  • White House
  • In The News

    Health

    Voting

    Political News

    May 17, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    15 House Members Named Finalists for Extraordinary Public Service Awards

    WASHINGTON — Fifteen members of Congress, Republicans and Democrats, have been named finalists for a Democracy Award, an annual award... Read More

    WASHINGTON — Fifteen members of Congress, Republicans and Democrats, have been named finalists for a Democracy Award, an annual award bestowed by the Congressional Management Foundation to recognize excellence in constituent services by members and their offices. Founded in 1977, the nonpartisan Congressional Management Foundation is... Read More

    May 16, 2024
    by Tom Ramstack
    Trump’s Attorneys Portray Star Witness as Liar Trying to Get Revenge

    NEW YORK — Defense attorneys for former President Donald Trump hammered away at the prosecution’s star witness Thursday in a... Read More

    NEW YORK — Defense attorneys for former President Donald Trump hammered away at the prosecution’s star witness Thursday in a New York court by portraying him as a persistent liar. Michael Cohen admitted lying on previous occasions while working as the personal attorney for Trump. He... Read More

    May 15, 2024
    by Tom Ramstack
    Trump Advisor Faces Deadline to Explain Why He Should Avoid Jail

    WASHINGTON — Former Trump administration advisor Steve Bannon has until Thursday to explain to a federal judge in Washington, D.C.,... Read More

    WASHINGTON — Former Trump administration advisor Steve Bannon has until Thursday to explain to a federal judge in Washington, D.C., why he should remain out of jail while he appeals his criminal conviction. Federal prosecutors this week asked U.S. District Court Judge Carl Nichols to compel... Read More

    May 15, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    Biden Challenges Trump to Two Debates, Bypassing Nonpartisan Commission

    WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Wednesday challenged former President Donald Trump to two televised debates before the November election,... Read More

    WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Wednesday challenged former President Donald Trump to two televised debates before the November election, bypassing the nonpartisan organization that has run presidential debates for more than three decades. Biden’s proposal is to hold the first debate with the presumptive Republican... Read More

    May 14, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    Biden Rolls Out Sweeping Tariffs Against China

    WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Tuesday rolled out steep new tariffs on a wide range of Chinese imports, including... Read More

    WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Tuesday rolled out steep new tariffs on a wide range of Chinese imports, including electric vehicles, solar panels, semiconductors and medical products in an effort to protect American manufacturers from competitors he said are unfairly subsidized by the government in... Read More

    May 14, 2024
    by Tom Ramstack
    Key Witness Again Describes Trump’s Deceit Before Being Attacked by Defense Attorneys

    NEW YORK — The prosecution’s key witness continued to chip away Tuesday in a New York court at former President... Read More

    NEW YORK — The prosecution’s key witness continued to chip away Tuesday in a New York court at former President Donald Trump’s claims of innocence from allegations he paid hush money to two women and falsified business documents to cover it up. Michael Cohen later remained... Read More

    News From The Well
    scroll top