Joe Biden Says Debt Ceiling Talks ‘Making Progress’ As Deadline Approaches
Joe Biden claimed that White House officials were “making progress” in budget negotiations with Republicans to avoid a damaging debt default, even as time was running out for any deal to be enacted before the government stayed. no money to pay all your bills as soon as possible. next week.
The US president struck a relatively upbeat tone when he gave an update on talks to avert the fiscal crisis gripping Washington at an event in the White House Rose Garden on Thursday afternoon.
“Spokesman [Kevin] McCarthy and I have had several productive conversations, and in fact, our staff continue to meet as we speak, and they are making progress,” Biden said. “I think we will come to an agreement that allows us to move forward and protects hard-working Americans in this country.”
His comments came a day after Fitch, the credit ratings agency, warned it may downgrade the US’s triple-A rating due to “political brinkmanship” on the US debt limit of a compromise.
Both Biden and McCarthy, the Republican speaker of the House of Representatives, have faced calls from rank and file members of their respective parties not to give up concessions in the final stretch of negotiations.
McCarthy even spoke on the phone Thursday with former President Donald Trump, who called on Republicans to accept a default if Biden did not agree to deep spending cuts. He then met with top Republican lawmakers in his office. “Every hour matters,” McCarthy told ABC News.
House members are heading home for the long Memorial Day weekend, but have been told they may need to return to Washington on short notice.
The US Treasury has warned that the world’s largest economy could run out of money to pay all its bills from June 1, risking its first public debt default.
Congressional aides say the path to getting a deal through both houses of the legislature and getting Biden to sign it on time is narrowing. “The sand is almost out of the hourglass for a potential debt ceiling deal,” Chris Krueger, an analyst at TD Cowen’s Washington Research Group, wrote in a note Thursday.
He said if a deal was reached before Friday, the earliest a bill could pass in the House was Tuesday, after which it would speed through the Senate the next day.
“This schedule definitely leans towards optimism and assumes a very high level of execution skill with everything falling into place,” he added.
Business groups in Washington have been urging both sides to reach a compromise as quickly as possible to avoid a potentially devastating economic and financial hit.
“It starts to get really tricky if there’s no deal in the next 24 hours,” said Neil Bradley, policy director for the US Chamber of Commerce. “We are in that window where you need things to go well.”
Speaking at an event hosted by the Institute for Investment Companies earlier that day, Wally Adeyemo, the Treasury undersecretary, lamented that the standoff had come down to the last minute.
“I think everyone’s goal is to make sure that we raise the debt limit. But most importantly, as all of you in this room know [and] What the American people know is that we shouldn’t be here,” he said. “This is a manufactured crisis.”