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Biden meets McCarthy, McConnell on U.S. debt ceiling

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U.S. President Joe Biden hosts debt limit talks with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and other congressional leaders in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 9, 2023. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

President Joe Biden and top Republican lawmakers met face-to-face on Tuesday as a deadlock over raising the $31.4 trillion U.S. debt limit threatened to push the country into an unprecedented default in as soon as three weeks if Congress does not act.

Biden is calling on lawmakers to raise the federal government’s self-imposed borrowing limit without conditions. Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has said his chamber will not approve any deal that doesn’t cut spending to address a growing budget deficit.


“President Biden needs to negotiate on spending with Speaker McCarthy. The Speaker’s been at the table since February. House Republicans are the only people in town who have passed any bill that prevents default. But President Biden has been M.I.A.”

“President Biden’s actions will either prevent default or guarantee default. It’s that simple. It’s up to the President.”

“Either President Biden causes an economic disaster of his own creation, or he picks up the 2019 playbook and negotiates with Speaker McCarthy.”

“We cannot allow extremists in the House to make devastating ransom demands in exchange for not cratering our economy – period.”

“The Republican House majority’s shameful default bill is completely unworkable. Their plan is full of wildly unpopular and damaging cuts to health care, food assistance, clean energy jobs, and more. This bill would be devastating for workers and the economy while doing nothing to make corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share.”

“While there are plenty of areas where the two parties disagree, two areas that are ripe for inclusion are permitting reform and an agreement on discretionary spending caps, both of which can improve the federal government’s fiscal outlook.”

“Leaders in both parties have made clear that our broken permitting process must be fixed and based on the proposals introduced in Congress, it is clear that a bipartisan agreement is possible.

Over the long run, permitting reform has the potential to reduce the costs of projects, allowing more to be completed, and facilitate investment in infrastructure by providing greater predictability, transparency, and efficiency.”

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