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HomeUSBiden holds debt limit talks from Japan amid fears of U.S. default

Biden holds debt limit talks from Japan amid fears of U.S. default


President Joe Biden held a virtual meeting on the debt crisis on Friday morning as fears of a US default loom over the G7 summit and clocks tick on America’s inability to pay his bills.

Biden’s call came after Vice President Kamala Harris tried to intervene in negotiations on Thursday but had voice issues during a zoom call with leaders.

The President, flanked by White House Deputy Chief of Staff Bruce Reed, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jen O’Malley Dillon held a 20-30 zoom call minutes with his negotiating team in Washington, where he was late Thursday evening.

Biden requested the update, the White House said, and was told “steady progress” was being made. Harris was not pictured on the call in a photo tweeted by the White House.

President Joe Biden hosted a virtual meeting with debt limit negotiations while attending the G7 summit in Japan

“The President instructed his team to continue pushing for a bipartisan agreement and made clear the need to protect critical programs for American workers and the economic progress of the past two years as negotiations enter advanced stages. He remains confident that Congress will take the necessary steps to avoid default,” a White House official said.

Reed, one of Biden’s top domestic policy advisers, travels specifically with the president to update him on debt negotiations.

Biden is cutting short his trip — skipping scheduled stops in Australia and Papua New Guinea — to return to the negotiating table in Washington after meeting with G7 leaders.

But he will have to spend some of his time in Hiroshima to reassure leaders that the United States is a reliable partner, even amid questions about Washington’s ability to pay its debts.

Harris tried to help on Thursday. The White House stressed that the vice president was playing an important role in the negotiations, but she was absent from Biden’s first meeting with congressional leaders on the subject.

And, on a zoom call hosted by the White House Office of Public Engagement on Thursday, she could barely get her first lines out.

“You can hear I have a bit of a frog in my throat, please forgive me,” she said as her voice cracked.

“I’ve been talking about this issue a lot lately,” she laughed.

Harris only managed to squeeze out a few lines of his pitch about the “unprecedented” nature of a default.

“This has never happened before,” she said. “It would mean that if this happened, it would be the first time in history that the United States government would not pay its bills.”

Just as she was beginning to blast tax cuts under Donald Trump, even as she was still struggling with voice issues, her audio cut out.

Vice President Kamala Harris entered negotiations on Thursday ¿ but struggled at times to get through her remarks with a

Vice President Kamala Harris entered negotiations on Thursday – but sometimes struggled to get through her remarks with a ‘frog’ in her throat

Top aides to Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy continue their talks as the Treasury Department announces the United States will default on June 1.

McCarthy told reporters on Capitol Hill on Thursday that it was important to have a “deal in principle” by the weekend if they hope to get to a vote in the House next week.

That would leave plenty of time for the Senate to act before June 1 as well.

“Everyone works hard.” said McCarthy.

The White House negotiating team was on Capitol Hill Thursday and is expected to return Friday as the two sides try to reach a deal acceptable to Democrats and Republicans.

Steve Ricchetti, adviser to the president, along with Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young and Legislative Affairs Director Louisa Terrell represent the administration in the talks.

McCarthy has tasked Republican Representatives Garret Graves of Louisiana and Patrick McHenry of North Carolina to lead the GOP.

“I’m confident we’ll get the deal on the budget and America won’t default,” Biden said Wednesday before departing for Japan.

Republicans wanted massive federal spending cuts before agreeing to a debt deal, which Biden called not started. The president wants a sharp increase in the debt ceiling.

One area the two sides seem likely to agree on would be the Republican proposal to recover some $30 billion in unspent COVID-19 funds now that the federal government has officially declared the pandemic emergency over.

McCarthy’s Republicans want to bring spending back to fiscal 2022 levels and cap annual increases to just 1% over the next decade – sparing defense and veterans accounts – in what Democrats say are devastating cuts inflicting hardship on many Americans.

Republicans know their proposal would only reduce the country’s growing debt load, but they argue spending cuts have to start somewhere to rein in what they say are unsustainable annual deficits.

Democrats are resisting, and negotiators are considering budget caps for the next few years as an alternative to limits that would span a decade.

Notably absent from the negotiating room are the congressional orderlies — the presidents of the House and Senate who run the appropriations committees, who put together the spending plans. Clearly, Democratic owners and perhaps even some Republicans would almost certainly back down from the cut levels being considered.

Showing the pressure McCarthy faces from his right flank, the conservative House Freedom Caucus said in a statement “there should be no more discussion” until the Senate approves the Republican bill passed by bedroom.

With the Senate under Democratic control, that is highly unlikely. And Biden has already said he would veto it.

House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries said Thursday that the Republican proposal for tougher work requirements for recipients of government assistance is a “failure.” Period. Complete stop.’

President Joe Biden will have to spend some of his time at the G7 to reassure leaders that the United States is a reliable partner

President Joe Biden will have to spend some of his time at the G7 to reassure leaders that the United States is a reliable partner

Jeffries noted that many House Republicans themselves, including McCarthy, voted against improving work requirements for food stamp recipients under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program a few years ago. barely years.

“It’s a hostage situation,” Jeffries said. “They are trying to extract ransom notes in order to avoid a default.”

But Biden has opened the door to some additional work requirements for non-healthcare programs. like Medicaidand discussions on food stamps and cash assistance programs are ongoing.

On permitting changes, Republicans are eager to overturn the National Environmental Policy Act, known as NEPA, to allow energy projects to be approved and developed more quickly, without years of delays, challenges and of lawsuits.

Biden’s own climate adviser John Podesta met with some House Democrats this week as the administration also seeks changes that would trigger clean energy projects faster and improve transmission lines to fight climate change. .

But the two sides remain far apart on the size and scope of licensing reforms, with several prominent lawmakers, including Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, having their own proposals.

It’s unclear whether negotiators will be able to reach a final agreement on leave provisions or simply arrive at a framework that could lead to future discussions between the White House and Congress.

Time is running out before the June 1 deadline to raise the debt ceiling and avoid what economists are warning as a devastating default, the first of its kind, tearing the economy apart.

McCarthy has pledged to abide by House rules that require 72 hours’ notice before voting on a bill, meaning a deal is needed this weekend if the House wants to vote before it leaves in the end of next week for the Memorial Day holiday.

President Kevin McCarthy told reporters on Capitol Hill on Thursday that it was important to have a

Speaker Kevin McCarthy told reporters on Capitol Hill on Thursday that it was important to have a “deal in principle” by the weekend if they hope to get to a vote in the House next week.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told senators Thursday, as they prepared to leave for their own week’s vacation, that they should be prepared to return with 24 hours’ notice to vote, if necessary. More likely, the Senate should start voting when it returns after Memorial Day.

Democrats in the House and Senate are engaging in other strategies, including trying to force a vote to raise the debt ceiling without the spending cuts demanded by Republicans. Progressives are also pushing Biden to invoke the 14th amendment raise the debt ceiling, which the president has signaled he is not yet inclined to do.

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