WASHINGTON – The White House and House Republicans began a new round of debt talks Sunday as Washington scrambles to reach a budget deal to raise the nation’s debt ceiling and avoid a federal default. was fighting for. economy.
President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy spoke by phone on Sunday as Biden was on his way back on Air Force One from the G7 summit in Japan. Upbeat, McCarthy told reporters on Capitol Hill that the call was “productive” and that intermittent conversations between his team and White House representatives focused on spending cuts.
A crucial meeting between Biden and McCarthy is scheduled for Monday at the White House.
Negotiators from both sides met for two-and-a-half hours on Capitol Hill and at a time when talks appear to be focused on an annual budget cap for 2024 that will be key to resolving the impasse.
“We will continue to work,” said Steve Ricchetti, an adviser to the president.
All parties face a deadline that could be June 1, when the government will run out of funds to pay its bills. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Sunday that June 1 is a tight deadline.
After his call with Biden, McCarthy said he believed “we can solve some of these problems if he understands what we’re up against.”
“But I have made that clear from the beginning. We will have to spend less than what we spent last year.
McCarthy seemed buoyed by that conversation and was careful not to criticize Biden’s visit, as he had done on other occasions. Although he warned. “There is no agreement on anything.”
McCarthy said, “We are thinking about how to lead this country to victory.” He said he doesn’t think a final measure could reshape the federal budget and the country’s debt, but at least “it would get us on a path to changing these massive spending behaviors.”
The White House confirmed Monday’s meeting and Sunday’s conversation, but did not elaborate on the phone call.
Earlier, Biden used his final press conference in Hiroshima, Japan, to warn House Republicans to put aside their “extreme positions” on raising the debt ceiling and that the only way to avoid a catastrophic default was on his own. There will be no deal for
Miller and Bock reported from Hiroshima, Japan. Associated Press writers Lisa Mascaro, Farnoush Amiri, Colleen Long and Will Weisert contributed to this report.