The Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Republican Kevin McCarthy, confirmed they are still “a long way away” from reaching an agreement with the White House and Democrats to raise the debt ceiling and prevent the country from falling into a suspension of payments. A meeting with President Joe Biden this Tuesday.
After leaving the meeting McCarthy was asked by a reporter whether the positions were still a long way off, to which he replied: “Yes.”
Shortly thereafter, the journalist wondered whether it would be possible to reach an agreement this weekend, to which the leader of the Republicans in the lower house answered in the affirmative.
“It is not difficult to reach an agreement,” reflected McCarthy, who said Tuesday’s meeting, which follows the first one a week ago, has been “productive.”
As in that first meeting, today’s meeting was attended by, in addition to Biden and McCarthy, the leader of the conservative minority in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, and the leaders of Democrats in that chamber and the lower house, Chuck Schumer. Hakeem Jeffries.
McCarthy assured that he had accomplished a lot in a short period of time, although he wished it had been done 100 days earlier.
Republicans, Democrats and the White House are currently negotiating to raise the nation’s debt ceiling to $31.4 trillion after it is reached on Jan. 19.
Since then, the government has had to draw on money in its reserves to pay off the debts it has contracted. The Treasury Department estimates that these reserves will be depleted by June 1, at which time the US will automatically go into suspension of payments, the first time in its history.
Following the meeting on Tuesday, the White House issued a statement describing the meeting as “productive and direct,” with Biden stressing that, although there are still a range of “difficult” issues to be worked out, He is optimistic that an agreement can be reached if it is negotiated “in good faith” and recognizes that neither side can get everything it wants.
Biden, who will travel to Japan tomorrow to attend the G7 summit between May 19 and 21 and has canceled his subsequent trip to Papua New Guinea and Australia due to the lack of an agreement on the loan, told his staff Ordered to continue the daily meeting. address this issue.
He also plans to reach out to Congress leaders over phone later this week and meet them on his return from Japan.
From the White House, Schumer confirmed that it was necessary to reach an agreement to avoid the suspension of payments, because, he indicated, it would be a “disaster”.
“It’s something that everyone in the board room understands and I’m glad to see that everyone understands that a default would be a disaster,” Schumer said.
For his part, Jeffries insisted that everyone at the meeting agreed that “the only way forward is to reach bipartisan agreement on common ground.”
“We agree that the suspension of payments is not acceptable and we must avoid it,” Jefferies said, noting that they agree they must proceed with “the utmost urgency” to reach an agreement in time.