Debt limit talks between the White House and House Republicans stopped, started, and stopped again on Capitol Hill on Friday, a dizzying succession of events during talks to avoid a possible federal debt default.
President Joe Biden’s administration is trying to reach an agreement with Republicans led by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy as the country nears a June 1 deadline to raise the debt ceiling to continue paying bills that Now it is 31 trillion dollars. Republicans are demanding big cuts in spending, which Democrats oppose.
Negotiations came to an abrupt halt in the early hours when McCarthy said it was time to “pause” the talks. But the negotiating teams met again in the afternoon before the day ended at night.
Biden, who is in Japan to attend the G7 summit, remains optimistic about a possible deal, noting that talks are taking place “in phases”.
“I still believe that we will be able to avoid default and do something,” he said.
His press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, had previously acknowledged the complexity of the talks.
“There is no doubt that we have serious differences,” he said without explaining them.
Top negotiators on McCarthy’s team said after the afternoon session that they were unclear about what the next step would be, although talks were likely to resume over the weekend. The White House publicly expressed optimism that a solution could be reached if the two sides held talks “in good faith”.
“We’re back in talks, we’ve had a very frank discussion, talking about where we are, what we need to do and what’s reasonably acceptable,” said Rep. Garrett Graves, R-Louisiana, a key said the McCarthy aide, who leads. His negotiating team…
As the White House delegation left the night session, Steve Ricchetti, an adviser to the president who heads the group of Democrats, was hopeful and said “we will continue to work.”
Biden had already made plans to cut short his trip to Japan and is expected to return to Washington on Sunday night.
Earlier in the day, McCarthy claimed a solution to the lockdown was “easy” if Biden’s team agreed to some of the spending cuts Republicans are demanding. The main hurdle revolves around the fiscal year 2024 budget, according to a person familiar with the discussions who spoke on condition of anonymity. Democrats fundamentally oppose the deep cuts proposed by Republicans as potentially harmful to Americans and insist that Republicans accept tax increases for the wealthiest and spending cuts to reduce the deficit.