McCarthy says debt negotiations can’t resume until Biden returns

  • House Speaker Kevin McCarthy told reporters on Saturday that Republicans would only resume negotiations on the debt ceiling when President Joe Biden returns from Japan.
  • Biden is scheduled to return to Washington from the G-7 on Sunday. In a press conference from the summit, the president said he was not worried about the negotiations.

U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks to reporters with U.S. Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) following debt ceiling negotiations at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 9, 2023.

Kevin Lamarck | Reuters

The on-again, off-again debate on Capitol Hill surrounding the debt ceiling resumed as House Speaker Kevin McCarthy told reporters Saturday that Republicans would resume negotiations only when President Joe Biden returns from the Group of Seven summit in Japan.

“Unfortunately, the White House has moved backwards,” McCarthy said of the current debates surrounding the debt ceiling. “I don’t think we can move forward until the president returns to the country,” he added.

Biden is scheduled return Sunday from the G-7 summit in Washington, D.C. President said In a press conference from the summit, he said he was not worried about the negotiations and believes “we can avoid a default, we will do something good”.

Negotiations are on hold again, at least for now, as McCarthy revealed the latest hurdle facing Congress is the debate over what to do with the outstanding debt ceiling. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said June 1 is the earliest date the U.S. will run out of money to pay off debts the government has already incurred.

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Any deal to raise or suspend the debt ceiling must pass both the GOP-led House and the Democratic-controlled Senate, and key lawmakers in both parties have agreed that a compromise bill would ultimately be unacceptable to hardliners.

High-level talks on raising the debt ceiling resumed in the Capitol on Friday evening, hours after they were suspended as Republican negotiators stormed out of the room, blaming the White House for stalling the discussions.

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