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Biden meets with McCarthy, other Hill leaders to reach debt deal before imminent deadline

The White House has said it is open to discussing spending reform but stressed that Congress is obligated to raise the debt limit.

Published: May 9, 2023 10:28am

Updated: May 9, 2023 10:51am

President Joe Biden is scheduled to meet Tuesday afternoon with congressional leaders to discuss raising the debt ceiling as the United States risks its first-ever default.

Biden last met in February with Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) But Tuesday's meeting will also feature House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

If the U.S. does not raise its $31.38 trillion debt ceiling by June 1, the country may default, triggering an economic crisis as the U.S. will be unable to afford its congressionally approved spending commitments, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned earlier this month.

The White House has said it is open to discussing spending reform but stressed that Congress is obligated to raise the debt limit without tying it to other legislation such as spending cuts. 

"Those two are totally unrelated. Whether you pay the debt or not, doesn’t have a damn thing to do with what your budget is," Biden said Friday, CNBC reported. "They’re two separate issues."

House Republicans passed a bill late last month that would raise the debt limit for one year and limit domestic spending, but Biden vowed to veto the legislation if it reaches his desk.

If the standoff is not resolved and the U.S. defaults, 6 million people could lose their jobs and gross domestic product could drop 4%, according to projections from the credit analyst Moody's.

Madeleine Hubbard is an international correspondent for Just the News. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram.

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