U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks to reporters with U.S. Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) by his side after talks on debt relief at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 9, 2023.
Kevin Lamarque | Reuters
The recurring debates on Capitol Hill about the debt ceiling are back again, as the Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy told reporters Saturday that Republicans will only continue negotiations when the president Joe Biden returning from the Group of Seven summit in Japan.
“Unfortunately, the White House went backwards,” McCarthy said of the ongoing debt ceiling deliberations. “I don’t think we will be able to move forward until the president can come back to the country,” he added.
On Saturday night, The Biden administration countered that it was Republicans who on Friday submitted a debt ceiling offer that was “a major step backwards,” claiming the proposal contained “extremely partisan demands that could never pass both houses of Congress.”
“It is only a Republican leadership beholden to its MAGA wing — not the president or Democratic leadership — that is threatening to bankrupt our nation for the first time in our history unless extreme partisan demands are met.” according to a statement by Biden’s press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
Biden is scheduled to return to Washington, DC, from the G-7 summit on Sunday. The president said in a press conference from the summit that he is “not at all” concerned about the negotiations and believes that “we will be able to avoid a default and we will get something decent done.”
McCarthy’s revelation that talks are on hold again, at least for now, is the latest obstacle to the debate in Congress over what to do with the pending debt limit. Minister of Finance Janet Yellen established June 1 as the earliest date that the United States may run out of money to pay debts that the government has already incurred.
Any deal to raise or delay the debt limit will have to pass in both the GOP-led House and the Democratic-controlled Senate, and key lawmakers in both parties have acknowledged that any compromise proposal could be unacceptable to hardliners.
The high stakes talk about raising the debt limit resumed at the Capitol on Friday night, hours after they were paused at noon when Republican negotiators walked out of the room and accused the White House of stalling discussions.