President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy are huddling in the White House once again on Monday at 5:30 p.m. ET as time is running short for them to strike a debt ceiling deal.
Mr. Biden cut his trip to Asia short, returning from Japan late Sunday night so he could work toward a deal in the final days before the June 1 deadline. The president and McCarthy spoke on the phone while Mr. Biden was aboard Air Force One en route back to Washington, and negotiators designated by the president and speaker have been trying to reach an agreement on a framework.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said the U.S. could be unable to pay its bills and could default on its debt as soon as June 1, but that date could slide in either direction. And it will take time to pass any legislation through both chambers of Congress, even once the president and McCarthy reach an agreement.
On Friday, negotiators on the Hill appeared to reach an impasse, taking a break from talks. On Saturday, McCarthy tweeted the White House “is moving backwards in negotiations,” blaming the “socialist wing of the Democrat Party” for the stall.
Mr. Biden began a press conference in Hiroshima, Japan, by saying he’d put forth more than $1 trillion in spending cuts, and “now it’s time for the other side to move their extreme positions because much of what they’ve already proposed is simply quite frankly, unacceptable.”
The president said he couldn’t promise world leaders gathered for the G-7 talks that the U.S. wouldn’t default on its debt.
“I can’t guarantee that they will not force a default by doing something outrageous,” Mr. Biden said of Republicans.
McCarthy on Sunday told reporters his conversation with the president on Sunday “went well.”
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