Biden, McCarthy Call Talks 'Productive' but Inconclusive

Treasury Department is among those getting more nervous about default
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2023 8:30 PM CDT
Debt Ceiling Talks: Better Tone but Still No Deal
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of Calif., speaks as he meets with President Joe Biden to discuss the debt limit in the Oval Office of the White House, Monday, May 22, 2023, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

With the Treasury Department sounding more nervous about a default and their staffs making little progress, President Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy returned to face-to-face talks for a day about raising the debt ceiling. Both pronounced their session at the White House productive when it ended Monday evening, the New York Times reports. "I believe we can still get there," McCarthy told reporters outside. The president made no remarks but said in a statement that "the only way to move forward is in good faith toward a bipartisan agreement." Biden said the two staffs would keep negotiating, and McCarthy said he expects to talk to the president every day until there's a resolution.

The Treasury Department issued a fresh warning Monday upgrading the chance of a government default on its obligations in early June from "likely" to "highly likely," per the Washington Post. And the president and the speaker said they still have differences, per the AP. Biden expressed optimism before the hourlong meeting, but McCarthy sounded like they will require deadline pressure before budging, per the Times. Asked by reporters what it will take to break the impasse, McCarthy said, “I think June 1." Investors seemed happy enough with the tone of the new remarks, with Dow futures up about 90 points Monday night, notes CNBC. (More debt ceiling stories.)

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