(The Center Square) – President Joe Biden pulled out of a meeting with legislative leaders Friday to discuss the debt ceiling ahead of a June 1 default deadline.
Biden was scheduled to meet with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell at the White House to continue talks that started Tuesday. Friday’s meeting was scrapped, but their staff members will continue to meet.
Both sides said no progress was made during Tuesday’s talks. On Wednesday, Donald Trump, who is seeking the GOP presidential nomination, gave his take at a town hall meeting hosted by CNN.
“I say to the Republicans out there – congressmen, senators – if they don’t give you massive cuts, you’re going to have to do a default,” Trump said.
Democrats and Republicans have both said they don’t want to default, which could have widespread economic consequences, but neither has publicly backed down from their positions.
Republicans have said they won’t agree to raise the debt limit without spending cuts. Biden and Democrats have said Congress must raise the debt limit before discussing changes to spending or other budget changes.
And McCarthy hasn’t shown interest in a short-term deal to lift the debt ceiling.
McCarthy put the ball in Schumer’s court after Tuesday’s discussions. Schumer said any path forward would need bipartisan support.
House Republicans recently passed a bill to cut spending by nearly $5 trillion and raise the debt limit by about $1.5 trillion, or until March 31, 2024, whichever comes first.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said lawmakers must raise the debt ceiling by June 1 or risk a default on U.S. debt obligations.