With the U.S. rapidly approaching its debt limit, a high-stakes bipartisan meeting is set for May 9 at the White House to discuss a path forward. President Biden will host Republican and Democratic leaders to address the nation's borrowing cap, which currently stands at $31.381 trillion.
The federal government hit the debt limit on Jan. 19, prompting the Treasury Department to employ extraordinary measures to meet its financial obligations and avoid default.
These measures, however, are expected to be exhausted by June, raising concerns about the potentially devastating economic consequences of a default.
Republicans are demanding that spending cuts and other cost savings accompany any increase in the borrowing limit. In contrast, President Biden has opposed tying spending cuts to raising the debt ceiling, increasing the likelihood of a protracted standoff.
Last month, the House narrowly passed Speaker Kevin McCarthy's (R-CA) debt ceiling bill with a 217-215 vote. McCarthy made several concessions to secure the legislation in exchange for their support. Some GOP members have raised concerns that these concessions could hinder their chances of advancing other legislation in the future.
Among the significant changes McCarthy made to his debt ceiling proposal were concessions to Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) on gun control, cannabis, and reproductive health, as well as an amendment requiring a balanced budget.
McCarthy also made concessions to the Iowa delegation regarding tax credits on clean fuels and added a provision to implement work requirements for low-income individuals on Medicaid.
Despite the progress on McCarthy's bill, negotiations on the debt ceiling remain stalled, with both parties refusing to compromise. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned that the United States has less than a month to avoid being unable to make payments if lawmakers don't act.
In response to the impending crisis, President Biden has called for a meeting with the "Big Four," including McCarthy, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
This meeting will mark the first time McCarthy and Biden have discussed the debt ceiling since Feb. 1.
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