Biden, McCarthy end first meet with optimistic outlook on debt crisis

The President and new Speaker face high stakes to strike a deal to avoid default on the nation’s debt.

After meeting with President Biden on Wednesday, Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) tells reporters he feels very good about the direction debt talks are going.

Driving the news: As the future is unsure for the nation’s debt ceiling crisis, both Biden and McCarthy are hopeful for the continued discussion going forward. Both sides hold differing perspectives on the issue but after an hour discussion see a path to working together and developing a compromise.


  • The view from the White House and Biden previously had been that the debt ceiling must be raised without any compromise. On the flip side, McCarthy along with several Republicans firmly believe the raising of the debt ceiling should come with government spending cuts.
  • According to the White House, the meeting between both political figures had “frank and straightforward dialogue” and welcomed the idea of separate talks to lower the deficit. This meeting overall is the first step to a series of meetings that will be taking place through the early months of the summer in hopes to prevent the nation from defaulting their debt.
  • This has been the first meeting between McCarthy and Biden since McCarthy took his place as the Speaker last month amid 15 rounds of voting. Before the meeting took place, the National Economic Council Director Brian Deese as well as Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young issued a memo urging McCarthy to commit to the prevention of U.S. coming to a default, which has not happened yet.

What both sides are saying: McCarthy, since taking up the gavel, has been focused on carrying out the responsibilities of Speaker and is looking to find a solution to benefit both sides by raising the debt ceiling without absurd spending continuing. The White House continues to question just how McCarthy and the Republican Party will do so, as they believe defaulting on the nation’s debt is not an option.

  • “President Biden made clear that, as every other leader in both parties in Congress has affirmed, it is their shared duty not to allow an unprecedented and economically catastrophic default,” the White House said. “The United States Constitution is explicit about this obligation, and the American people expect Congress to meet it in the same way all of his predecessors have. It is not negotiable or conditional.”
  • “There is nothing in there with me walking away that does not believe that at the end of the day we can come to an agreement,” McCarthy said. “I’m not in a place where I’m going to point fingers, I’m in a place of being Speaker of the House… My role right now is to make sure we have a sensible, responsible ability to raise the debt ceiling, but not continue this runaway spending.”
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