The highly anticipated follow-up to the so-called Big Four’s first debt ceiling talks has been pushed to next week, according to the White House and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).
The second meeting of the week between President Joe Biden, McCarthy, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was scheduled to take place in the Oval Office Friday after White House aides and congressional Republican advisers huddled for hours on Wednesday and Thursday.
SENATE LEADERS PLAY DEBT CEILING BLAME GAME WHILE AIDES NEGOTIATE BEHIND THE SCENES
One White House official described the postponement as “a positive development,” with the sitdown expected to occur before Biden departs for Australia, Japan, and Papua New Guinea next week. The $31.4 U.S. debt ceiling was reached in January.
“Meetings are progressing,” the official said. “Staff is continuing to meet and it wasn’t the right moment to bring it back to principals.”
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER
In New York on Wednesday, Biden amended comments he made after the first White House discussion that he was considering a short-term extension of the country’s borrowing cap before the Treasury Department can no longer pay outstanding bills with cash on hand or accounting gimmicks this summer.
“We still have time to do a whole deal,” he said. “They keep saying they only want — they’re going to go back to the 2022 budget. Well, in the 2022 budget, what is it that they are going to cut? What are they going to keep? Just tell us. Are they going to make sure they continue to fund the Defense Department? Are they not going to cut veterans?”