President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that he is confident that a deal can be reached with Republican leaders on June 1 to stave off a potentially catastrophic U.S. debt burden.
“The leaders are all agreed that we will not default,” Biden said in terse remarks at the White House shortly before leaving for the G7 meeting of world leaders in Japan.
Biden and congressional leaders, including House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, have held two rounds of face-to-face talks to try to reach an agreement to raise the U.S. borrowing limit to allow the country to pay its existing obligations.
After the final negotiations ended Tuesday without a breakthrough, McCarthy told reporters there was still “a lot of work to be done” to break the deadlock with Democrat Biden over the debt ceiling.
Republicans continue to insist that Biden must agree to significant cuts in exchange for their support to raise the ceiling, ignoring repeated Democratic calls for a “clean” loan limit increase with no strings attached.
Democrats have accused Republicans of using extreme tactics to push their political agenda before the so-called “X-date” when the United States starts paying its debts because the government has run out of money.
Biden confirmed on Wednesday he would cut off a wider tour to the Asia-Pacific region, including a meeting with the Australian prime minister and a stop in Papua New Guinea, and planned to return to Washington on Sunday for “final” negotiations over the debt ceiling.
But he reiterated that defaulting was not an option.
“It would be catastrophic for the American economy and the American people if we didn’t pay our bills,” he said.
“America is not a dead-end nation. We pay our bills,” he added.
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