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Biden Says Tuesday’s Debt Ceiling Talks Were ‘Productive’ Although No Agreement Has Been Reached

On Tuesday, U.S. President Joe Biden convened with legislative heads, breaking a three-month impasse between his administration and Congress regarding the debt ceiling – an impasse that has put the country’s ability to meet its financial commitments at risk.

After his discussions with Kevin McCarthy, the Speaker of the House, and other legislative heads, President Biden provided a statement to the press.

Biden says Tuesday’s discussion was ‘constructive’

He described the session as “constructive” and assured that he would exhaust all possible measures to avert a U.S. default on its debt commitments.

During the press brief, Biden stated, “I made it clear during our meeting that default is not an option. I told congressional leaders that I’m prepared to begin a separate discussion about my budget, spending priorities, but not under the threat of default.”

He further confirmed, “We agreed to continue our discussions, and we’re going to meet again on Friday,” and highlighted that daily meetings between both party staff members would take place to monitor progress.

The current borrowing limit sits at $31.4 Trillion

The existing borrowing limit of the U.S. federal government stands at $31.4 trillion. Although the U.S. has a clean record of never defaulting on its debts, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warns that this could alter as early as June if the borrowing limit is not elevated.

The Speaker of the House, post-meeting, communicated to the press: “Everybody in this meeting reiterated the positions they were at. I didn’t see any new movement.”

McCarthy is focused on growing the economy, eliminating waste

McCarthy expressed his optimism about potential agreement areas, stating, “I think the best thing that we can do is find places where we can eliminate waste, find places that we can grow this economy, and that’s exactly what the House bill does.”

Credits: Getty Images

The previous month, House Republicans approved the “Limit, Save, Grow Act,” designed to cap federal expenditure for the 2024 fiscal year at 2022 figures. This measure aims to counterbalance the proposed debt ceiling raise by $1.5 trillion, projected to last until March 2024.

Read also: These Are Some Sure-fire Ways to Tell if Someone is a Democrat!

The White House Rejects GOP’s ‘Limit, Save, Grow Act’

However, the White House rejected the GOP proposal, which accused the House Republicans of “manufacturing a crisis” and neglecting their responsibilities.

Biden criticized McCarthy’s suggested path, stating, “I’m not sure. I don’t think they’re sure exactly what they’re proposing.”

President Biden rules out the possibility of a debt default

While the President did not dismiss the idea of a temporary extension of the debt ceiling, he confirmed, “I’m not ruling out anything. One thing that I’m ruling out is default,” reiterating his disapproval of significant expenditure cuts.

Credits: DepositPhotos

Regarding potential independent actions like invoking the 14th Amendment to address the debt stalemate, Biden mentioned there had been internal discussions within the White House.

However, he argued against the efficacy of such a measure, stating, “I don’t think that solves our problem now,” and emphasized that the court would need to decide on such a matter.

Read also: ‘Difficult To Identify the Cause’ of Border Disaster According to Biden Admin

The US could default on its debt in June

In a letter to Congress on May 1, Yellen warned that the Treasury Department could deplete its special measures and become unable to fulfill the government’s financial obligations as soon as June 1.

The Congressional Budget Office echoed a similar sentiment last week, projecting that the “extraordinary measures invoked by the Treasury secretary will be exhausted by June 2023.”

When questioned about his trust in Speaker McCarthy, Biden suggested that McCarthy’s flexibility might be constrained.

Biden says he trusts McCarthy to ‘do what he says’

Biden said, “I trust Kevin will try to do what he says,” but he further questioned, “I don’t know how much leeway Kevin McCarthy thinks he has in light of the fact that it took 15 votes for him to acquire the speakership. And apparently, he had to make some serious concessions to get it from the most extreme members of his party.”