UNITED STATES NEWS

Debt limit talks seem to make little headway as Biden, world leaders watch from afar for progress

May 20, 2023, 10:11 AM | Updated: 1:44 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden and world leaders watched from afar, hoping high-stakes negotiations would make progress on avoiding a potentially catastrophic federal default.

In a sign of a renewed bargaining session, food was brought to the negotiating room at the Capitol on Saturday morning, only to be carted away hours later. No meeting was likely Saturday, according to a person familiar with the state of the talks who was not authorized to publicly discuss the situation and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Biden’s administration steep spending cuts the Democrats oppose.

Negotiations had came to an abrupt standstill Friday morning when McCarthy said it was time to “pause” talks. Then the teams convened again in the evening, only to quickly call it quits for the night.

Biden, attending a meeting of global leaders in Japan, tried to reassure them on Saturday that the United States would not default, a scenario that would rattle the world economy. He said he felt there was headway in the talks.

“The first meetings weren’t all that progressive, the second ones were, the third one was,” he said. The president said he believes “we’ll be able to avoid a default and we’ll get something decent done.”

Negotiators for McCarthy said after the Friday evening session that they were uncertain on next steps.

“We reengaged, had a very, very candid discussion, talking about where we are, talking about where things need to be, what’s reasonably acceptable,” said Rep. Garret Graves, R-La.

Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C. was asked if he was confident an agreement over budget issues could be reached with the White House. He replied, “No.”

As the White House team left the nighttime session, Biden counselor Steve Ricchetti, who is leading talks for the Democrats, said he was hopeful. “We’re going to keep working,” he said.

McCarthy had said resolution to the standoff is “easy,” if only Biden’s team would agree to some spending cuts Republicans are demanding. The biggest impasse was over the fiscal 2024 top-line budget amount, according to a person briefed on the talks and granted anonymity to discuss them. Democrats contend the steep reductions Republicans have put on the table would be potentially harmful to Americans, and they are insisting that Republicans agree to tax increases on the wealthy, in addition to spending cuts, to close the deficit.

Wall Street turned lower Friday as negotiations came to a sudden halt. Experts have warned that even the threat of a debt default would could spark a recession.

Republicans argue the nation’s deficit spending needs to get under control, aiming to roll back spending to fiscal 2022 levels and restrict future growth. But Biden’s team is countering that the caps Republicans proposed in their House-passed bill would amount to 30% reductions in some programs if Defense and veterans are spared, according to a memo from the Office of Management and Budget.

Any deal would need the support of both Republicans and Democrats to find approval in a divided Congress and be passed into law. Negotiators are eyeing a more narrow budget cap deal of a few years, rather than the decade-long caps Republicans initially wanted, and clawing back some $30 billion of unspent COVID-19 funds.

Still up for debate are policy changes, including a framework for permitting reforms to speed the development of energy projects, as well as the Republican push to impose work requirements on government aid recipients that Biden has been open to but the House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York has said was a “nonstarter.”

McCarthy faces pressures from his hard-right flank to cut the strongest deal possible for Republicans, and he risks a threat to his leadership as speaker if he fails to deliver. Many House Republicans are unlikely to accept any deal with the White House.

Biden is facing increased pushback from Democrats, particularly progressives, who argue the reductions will fall too heavily on domestic programs that Americans rely on.

___

Associated Press writers Zeke Miller and Josh Boak in Hiroshima, Japan, and AP Congressional Correspondent Lisa Mascaro contributed to this report.

United States News

Associated Press

Lynn Conway, microchip pioneer who overcame transgender discrimination, dies at 86

Lynn Conway, a pioneer in the design of microchips that are at the heart of consumer electronics who overcame discrimination as a transgender person, has died at age 86. Her June 9 death was announced by the University of Michigan, where Conway was on the engineering faculty until she retired in 1998. “She overcame so […]

31 minutes ago

Associated Press

Report finds Colorado was built on $1.7 trillion of land expropriated from tribal nations

A report published this week by a Native American-led nonprofit examines in detail the dispossession of $1.7 trillion worth of Indigenous homelands in Colorado by the state and the U.S. and the more than $546 million the state has reaped in mineral extraction from them. The report, shared first with The Associated Press, identifies 10 […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Florida prepares for next round of heavy rainfall after storms swamp southern part of the state

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Forecasters warned Floridians to prepare for additional flash flooding after a tropical disturbance dumped as much as 20 inches (50 centimeters) of rainfall in the southern parts of the state, with worsening conditions expected Friday. The disorganized storm system was pushing across Florida from the Gulf of Mexico at roughly […]

11 hours ago

Associated Press

1 of 2 abducted Louisiana children is found dead in Mississippi after their mother is killed

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Louisiana woman was found dead in her home Thursday, and her two young daughters were abducted and found hours later in Mississippi — one dead and the other alive, police said. A Louisiana resident who had dated the woman was arrested in Jackson, Mississippi, in connection with the deaths and […]

16 hours ago

Associated Press

Ready to renew your US passport? You can now apply online

WASHINGTON (AP) — There’s an easier way to renew your passport — online. The State Department has opened a trial run allowing a limited number of people to apply for their updated travel documents with a few clicks. You can’t just start anytime — windows will open at midday Eastern time each day and then […]

17 hours ago

Associated Press

You don’t think corn dogs are haute cuisine? These chefs, using alligator sausage, beg to differ.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Stefani De Palma, an award-winning chef and head of the a team vying to represent the Americas in a French culinary competition in January, knew she wanted her team’s work to feature flavors of her native California. The challenge at the Bocuse d’Or Americas competition this week in New Orleans was […]

18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinic visits boost student training & community health

Going to a Midwestern University Clinic can help make you feel good in more ways than one.

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

Debt limit talks seem to make little headway as Biden, world leaders watch from afar for progress