June 17, 2024
Debt-ceiling standoff: Biden to take part in another meeting Tuesday with McCarthy, other lawmakers

Debt-ceiling standoff: Biden to take part in another meeting Tuesday with McCarthy, other lawmakers

The second round of debt-ceiling talks between the White House and top congressional leaders will take place Tuesday, President Joe Biden said Monday.

Biden confirmed to reporters that the meeting would take place as he responded to a shouted question while leaving a restaurant in Philadelphia.

On Sunday, Biden had said the parley with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and other U.S. lawmakers had appeared set for Tuesday.

“I remain optimistic because I’m a congenital optimist,” Biden told reporters Sunday in Rehoboth Beach, Del. “But I really think there’s a desire on their part as well as ours to reach an agreement. I think we’ll be able to do it.”

When asked about progress of the negotiations, Biden said: “I think they are moving along, hard to tell. We have not reached the crunch point yet.” 

McCarthy, meanwhile, said on Monday that he’s still “far apart” from Biden on reaching a deal to raise the debt limit.

NBC News and Bloomberg News first reported Sunday that Biden, McCarthy, a California Republican; House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, a New York Democrat; Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican; and House Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat are planning to meet again Tuesday to discuss the budget and how to avoid a federal default, though they reported the plan was tentative.

Read more: Debt-ceiling standoff: Here’s what could go into a bipartisan deal

The leaders had postponed a meeting that had been scheduled for last Friday, after their first meeting on May 9. A source familiar with the meetings called the delay a “positive” development, as staff work was continuing and Friday wasn’t yet the right time to re-convene Biden and the congressional leaders.

Speaking on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday, National Economic Council Director Lael Brainard said negotiations between the White House and McCarthy have been “serious” and “constructive.”

“Our expectation is that Congress will act to avert default in a timely manner,
she said, according to a CBS News transcript.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned that the federal government’s first-ever default could happen as soon as June 1 if Congress doesn’t raise the borrowing limit, and has said it could cause “financial chaos.”

Biden is scheduled to fly to Japan on Wednesday for a G-7 meeting, but has suggested he could cancel the trip if necessary.

U.S. stocks SPX, +0.30% DJIA, +0.14% were mostly higher Monday afternoon, supported by a bounce in banking-sector shares KBE, +2.84%, as investors monitored efforts to resolve the debt-ceiling standoff.

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