During a meeting at the White House on Tuesday, Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Biden agreed to direct negotiations on the current debt ceiling impasse, Reuters reported.
After a monthlong delay on the part of the White House, the president met with Congressional leaders from both parties on Tuesday to discuss negotiations on a possible deal before the current debt ceiling is reached on June 1.
Biden told reporters that he would cut short his trip to Asia for the G7 Summit to return to Washington on Sunday while staff-level discussions continue in Washington during his absence.
After Tuesday’s meeting, Speaker McCarthy tapped Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA) to head up talks with Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young and Biden advisor Steve Ricchetti. McCarthy said that with Tuesday’s meeting, the negotiating team will have a “format” and “structure” from which to move forward.
When asked if he believed it was possible to reach a deal before the president returns from the G7 Summit, McCarthy told reporters that it is “doable.” McCarthy said the short timeframe will make a deal “harder,” but added that he won’t give up. He boasted that he has the perseverance and “grit” to “get it done.”
The Republican-controlled House has already passed a debt ceiling bill that also includes spending cuts.
McCarthy’s meeting with President Biden follows last week’s negotiations with the three top congressional leaders.
On Wednesday, the president left Washington to travel to Hiroshima, Japan to attend the Group of Seven Summit of world leaders which begins on Friday. A White House official said the president plans to hold a press conference in Hiroshima before leaving Japan to return to Washington.
On Tuesday, the president and McCarthy met with House Democrat Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.