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Saturday, March 25, 2023

Biden, McCarthy ‘find common language’ on raising national debt ceiling

President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy held preliminary talks on Wednesday to raise the U.S. government’s borrowing limit, agreeing to continue talks and saying they were able to find common ground.

After the meeting, the White House said Biden had told McCarthy he was ready to work with Republicans. According to McCarthy himself, he was able to find a common language with the president.

“The president and I had a good first meeting,” McCarthy told reporters. According to him, the interlocutors exchanged their opinions.

“I see where we can find common ground,” he said.

The Democratic and Republican presidents, who took control of the House of Representatives in the November election, clashed over raising the national debt ceiling, now at $31.4 trillion.

“President Biden has made it clear that, as all bipartisan leaders in Congress have affirmed, it is their shared responsibility to prevent an unprecedented and potentially catastrophic default,” the White House said in a statement. “It’s not negotiable.”

Neither side expects a solution to emerge from a single meeting. Without appropriate measures, the government could lose the ability to pay all its bills as early as June.

However, McCarthy hopes such a scenario can be avoided.

“If we can come to an agreement, we could have a funding agreement for the next two years,” McCarthy said. “You will see that the Senate and the House of Representatives are really doing the job that we were chosen to do by the American public.”

Unlike most other developed countries, the United States sets strict limits on its public debt, and Congress must periodically raise this limit because the US government spends more than it receives.

Minutes before the White House meeting, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told reporters, “There is only one way forward: Congress must raise the debt ceiling. No one should think that the Fed can shield the economy from the consequences of untimely action.”

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