Biden, McCarthy Delay Debt Ceiling Talks As Potential Default Looms

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Diana Glebova White House Correspondent
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President Joe Biden and Congressional leaders postponed their scheduled meeting on the debt ceiling Friday, pushing their meeting to next week.

The federal government may go into economic default as soon as June 1, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned. The president and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy are at a stalemate over the debt ceiling, with the Republican pushing for tying a raise to spending cuts.

Biden on Tuesday met with McCarthy, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to discuss a solution before default sets in. Biden said the leaders would meet with him again Friday, but are now set to discuss “early next week.” (RELATED: ‘Substantial Movement’: Biden Optimistic On McCarthy Meeting Over Debt Ceiling)

“Staff will continue working and all the principals agreed to meet early next week,” a White House spokesperson told the Daily Caller.

After the initial meeting, the president expressed optimism that an agreement could be reached within the timeframe and hinted at a potential compromise, saying default is the only thing he would rule out.

WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 09: U.S. Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speak to the media after meeting with President Joe Biden at the White House on May 09, 2023 in Washington, DC. The Congressional lawmakers met with the President to negotiate how to address the debt ceiling before June 1, when U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned Congress that the United States would default on their debts. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Biden added that there was “substantial movement” for everyone but McCarthy.

“Everyone agreed that … defaulting on the debt is off the table,” Biden said.

The White House has attempted to pin the need to raise the debt ceiling on Congress.

“We’ve been very clear that Congress needs to do their job. 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,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Thursday.