Biden and McCarthy to Discuss Debt Limit as a Possible Default Looms

WASHINGTON — President Biden will meet with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy at the White House on Tuesday for a crucial face-to-face showdown that will frame the showdown over federal debt and spending weeks before the country defaults. First time in history.

With America and perhaps the global economy out of balance, the meeting will be the first sit-down session since February between a Democratic president and a Republican chairman. But even the terms of the talks have been disputed. McCarthy insists the president should negotiate a debt ceiling deal with him, while Biden said the meeting was just an opportunity to tell the president that negotiations over the ceiling would not take place. claim. .

The meeting in the Oval Office will be attended by Biden, McCarthy and three other congressional leaders. The Democratic leaders of the House of Representatives, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, and Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, are Democrats. Senate Republican leader. But Biden and McCarthy are major players, embroiled in a political chicken game to decide who will blink first in raising the debt ceiling.

With the federal government expected to default on June 1 without a deal, McCarthy and the GOP caucuses have refused to raise the debt ceiling without committing to significant spending cuts. Biden said he would discuss ways to reduce the deficit but refused to link spending decisions with raising the debt ceiling, as Congress would have to pay for generations of already approved spending. , argued that the limit should simply be raised.

White House Press Secretary Carine Jean-Pierre said: “We shouldn’t let House Republicans create a crisis about what has happened 78 times since 1960.” “This is their constitutional obligation. Congress must act. Tomorrow the president will make it clear to leaders,” she said.

The meeting Biden has called will not include negotiations over the debt ceiling, she added. “I don’t call it ‘debt ceiling negotiations,'” she replied to the reporter who used the term. “I call it a conversation.” In fact, she was so keen on calling it a “conversation” that she used the word 15 times during a briefing to describe the meeting. .

Neither side expects a breakthrough at the meeting scheduled for 4:00 p.m. , which plans to set the parameters for the debate that will unfold over the next few weeks. In recent years, such stalemate has not been resolved until hours or days before the deadline, or until the deadline was extended.

Biden has indicated that he is willing to discuss spending not directly related to the debt ceiling law with McCarthy and Republican lawmakers separately. White House officials say the president will slash the deficit by an estimated $3 trillion over 10 years, as part of a larger package to cut debt, which Republicans have proposed in the most recent budget. It is said that it is a plan to consider. Accumulated over time.

He is likely to challenge Republicans at Tuesday’s meeting to be more specific about the spending cuts they will cut. We bashed them for over a week about the potential consequences of spending caps (such as cuts in funding for veterans’ health care services).

Republicans are outraged by the president’s attacks on their laws, calling them misleading. But they noted that unlike the Democrats, they passed measures that would at least raise the debt ceiling, albeit with spending cuts. argued that it must Otherwise, they argue, it was the Democrats, not the Republicans, who failed to raise the debt ceiling, which could lead to default.

Rep. Jody C. Arlington, a Texas Republican and chairman of the House Budget Committee, said: said on CNBC on Monday“We did it, we set the example, we put in their hands a list of consensus proposals. increase.”

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