President Biden says he and Republicans are in full agreement that the U.S. will not default on its debt, but clarified that many points remain to be negotiated before a budget deal can be made.
Biden made the statement in the Rose Garden at the White House on Thursday, just prior to nominating a replacement for Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley. Biden reiterated that he will not accept the bill passed by House Republicans and said negotiations between his team and Republicans are ongoing.
“Congressional leaders… have all agreed there will be no default,” Biden said. “It is time for Congress to act now.”
“I want to be clear: The negotiations we’re having with Speaker [Kevin] McCarthy are about the outlines of what the budget will look like, not about default,” he continued. “It’s about competing visions for America.”
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“Speaker McCarthy and I have very different views on who should bear the burden of additional efforts to get our fiscal house in order,” Biden added.
Lawmakers are scrambling to negotiate a budget deal that will allow the U.S. to raise the debt ceiling and avoid defaulting for the first time in the country’s history. The deadline for a deal arrives June 1.
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The frantic dealmaking comes after months of Biden’s White House insisting they would not negotiate with Republicans, arguing that Congress should simply raise the debt ceiling no questions asked.
The Biden administration refused to negotiate on the issue as recently as May 2, with White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre rebuffing the notion prior to a meeting between the president and Rep. McCarthy, R-Calif.
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“Look, he’s going to make it very clear in this meeting that they’re going to have next week, how it is Congress’ constitutional duty to act. He is not going to negotiate on the debt ceiling. We’ve been very clear. That is not going to change,” Jean-Pierre said.