Debt Ceiling Talks: Congress Plays High-Stakes Game of Chicken

Yellen has cautioned that the U.S. will not be able to fulfill its outstanding financial obligations beyond June 1 unless Congress approves new treasury borrowing authority. Crafting a bill that can secure the support of House Republicans and President Biden poses a significant challenge.

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FILE - The Capitol is seen in Washington, April 18, 2023. In January, the U.S. government ran up against its legal borrowing capacity of $31.381 trillion, and the Treasury Department began implementing “extraordinary measures” to avoid a default. That started the clock on the “x-date” when those measures would be exhausted. The x-date could be reached as early as June, depending on how much money the IRS collected in April from people filing their taxes. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
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President Joe Biden has scheduled a meeting with key congressional leaders, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, for May 9 at the White House to discuss the debt limit. The meeting comes as Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned of a potential default if the debt ceiling is not raised by June 1.

Republicans are using the debt ceiling as a bargaining chip to push for significant cuts in government spending programs. However, the White House has insisted that Congress has an obligation to raise the debt ceiling without any preconditions, citing decades of precedent. President Biden has no plans to back down from his demand for a clean debt ceiling increase.

Yellen has cautioned that the U.S. will not be able to fulfill its outstanding financial obligations beyond June 1 unless Congress approves new treasury borrowing authority. Crafting a bill that can secure the support of House Republicans and President Biden poses a significant challenge. To facilitate a bipartisan agreement on spending and revenue, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has added both a clean two-year debt ceiling suspension and the GOP bill to the Senate calendar.

The outcome of the White House meeting and subsequent negotiations will be crucial to addressing the debt limit crisis and averting a potential default on U.S. obligations. As the June deadline approaches, lawmakers from both parties will need to find common ground to ensure the country’s financial stability.


Click ▶️ to listen to the report from AURN White House Correspondent Ebony McMorris. For more news, follow @E_N_McMorris & @aurnonline.

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