Washington D.C. – President Joe Biden and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy are scheduled to meet on Tuesday to discuss the ongoing issue of the debt ceiling. The two leaders hope to break a logjam that has been preventing progress on the issue in recent weeks.
The debt ceiling is the maximum amount of money that the United States government is allowed to borrow in order to pay its bills. Without an increase in the debt ceiling, the country risks defaulting on its obligations, which could have serious consequences for both the economy and the global financial system.
The current debt ceiling was reinstated in August 2019 at $22 trillion, but the federal government reached that limit in July of last year. Since then, the Treasury Department has been using “extraordinary measures” to continue funding the government, but those measures will run out in the coming months unless Congress takes action.
Democrats have called for a clean debt ceiling bill, which would simply raise the debt limit without any other conditions attached. Republicans, however, have argued that Democrats should use the reconciliation process to include spending cuts or other policy reforms along with the debt ceiling increase.
President Biden has emphasized the urgency of addressing the debt ceiling issue, warning that failure to do so could have catastrophic consequences. In a statement last week, he said, “Defaulting on our debts would be a self-inflicted wound with potentially catastrophic consequences that could last for decades.”
It remains to be seen whether Tuesday’s meeting between President Biden and Leader McCarthy will result in a breakthrough on the debt ceiling issue. However, both sides have expressed a willingness to negotiate, and there is hope that a compromise can be reached before it’s too late.