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Biden and McCarthy to meet as debt ceiling deadline approaches

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is scheduled to meet with President Kevin McCarthy on Monday afternoon to discuss a way forward to avoid a debt ceiling crisis, with only days before the Treasury Department is unable to pay the debts. nation’s bills.

On Biden’s drive home Sunday from the G-7 summit in Japan, he had a phone call with McCarthy that the Republican president called “productive” and included a request for the president to meet.

The meeting, which is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. ET, follows a frantic few days of staff-level negotiations between the White House and Republican leaders, just 10 days before the June 1 deadline set by the Treasury Department. for Congress to act or risk first. -never default on US debt.

One of the biggest questions surrounding the high-stakes meeting is whether Biden and McCarthy can reach a deal that has the votes to pass the Republican-led House and the Democratic-controlled Senate in a short amount of time. . And if a bill passes with overwhelmingly Democratic votes in the House, will McCarthy face an uprising from its extremist members.

Biden addressed the state of negotiations in Hiroshima, arguing that Republicans’ “extreme positions” were holding back progress.

“I did my part,” Biden told reporters. “Now it’s time for the other side to move on. There are more extreme positions, because much of what they have already offered is simply, quite frankly, unacceptable.

McCarthy signaled he would abide by the 72-hour rule before a new bill is passed. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., adjourned the chamber last week for a pre-scheduled recess, but told senators to be ready to return within 24 hours.

Negotiations have been turbulent in recent days over the central dispute over how much the federal government should spend in the next fiscal year. McCarthy and Republicans want a substantial cut that Democrats have been reluctant to deliver. Democrats calculate that Republicans are offering discretionary spending cuts of 22% if military programs are exempt, as many GOP members want.

Arriving at the Capitol on Monday morning, Rep. Patrick McHenry, R.C., a McCarthy ally, told reporters the call between the speaker and Biden on Sunday was “productive” and that “it brought us back together in the piece”. .”

McCarthy will also have to navigate the demands of hardline conservatives in his narrow majority, who are pushing for tougher spending cuts and say the bill passed by the House, called Limit, Save, Grow Act, should be the standard at which they hold any agreement.

Biden faces angst from his party’s left flank over his entertaining GOP demands, such as tougher work requirements for federal aid programs. Many progressives, uncomfortable with the negotiations, have called on the president to invoke the 14th Amendment and unilaterally tackle the debt ceiling.

“I look at the 14th Amendment to find out whether or not we have the authority. I think we have the authority,” Biden said Sunday at a press conference in Hiroshima, Japan. “The question is, could it be made and invoked in time that it could not be appealed, and therefore pass the date in question and still default on the debt? C This is a question that I think is unresolved.”

Biden said that after making progress in negotiations, Republicans walked away with “a much reduced proposal from what they agreed to or discussed.”

“And now I don’t know where – we’ve made a counter offer again on the counter,” the president said on Sunday. “I know it sounds ridiculous, but that’s what we did. And I’m waiting to hear the response to what we came up with.”

Biden said Republicans had ruled out revenue-raising measures or tax increases, another source of disagreement, which he said Democrats were sticking to.

Biden seemed less certain Republicans would do whatever was necessary to avoid default, warning that “he can’t guarantee” Republicans won’t force a situation where the government won’t be able to pay its bills.

Alexandra Bacallao, Frank Thorp V And Molly Roecker contributed.


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