President Biden, Speaker McCarthy hold “productive” meeting Monday, still no deal on debt ceiling

McCarthy says negotiators will work throughout the night and he and President Biden will talk every day.
Published: May. 23, 2023 at 7:35 AM PDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) continued their debt ceiling negotiations Monday. The two met as the U.S. is potentially 10 days away from defaulting on its debt for the first time.

Biden and McCarthy sat one-on-one for more than hour in the Oval Office. McCarthy said there is still no deal, but it was the most productive meeting between the two.

“I think it was productive in the professionalism, the honesty with one another and the desire to try to find common ground,” said McCarthy.

The clock is ticking towards default. On Monday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen reiterated it’s “highly likely” that Treasury will not be able to pay the country’s bills “as early as June 1.”

Prior to the meeting, President Biden said he is optimistic a deal can get done.

“We both agree default’s not really on the table. We gotta get something done here,” Biden said.

However, the two still differ on how a deal gets reached.

Biden said, “I think we should be looking at tax loopholes, and make sure the wealthy pay their fair share. I think revenue matters as long as you’re not taxing anybody under $400,000.”

Meanwhile, McCarthy said, “I simply believe, like any household, like any business, like any state government, when you’re this far out of whack, you have to spend less than you did last year.”

McCarthy said negotiators will work throughout the night and that he and President Biden will continue to talk every day. If both sides agree to a deal, it still must get through a divided Congress.

The Senate is currently on recess.