Progress Made in White House Debt Limit Meeting, Talks to Continue as U.S. Rushes to Prevent Default

The White House and Congress have about two weeks to raise or extend the debt ceiling before the U.S. risks its first-ever default.

Progress Made in White House Debt Limit Meeting, Talks to Continue as U.S. Rushes to Prevent Default

Joe Biden, President of the United States, hosted congressional leaders in the White House to discuss the debt ceiling for a second time.

Republicans have pushed for a proposal to tighten the work requirements of social safety net programs.

If lawmakers do not act by June 1, the U.S. could face a default, and possibly massive economic damage.

WASHINGTON - President Joe Biden remained at odds with House Republicans on Tuesday after an hour-long meeting in the Oval Office, where all four of the top congressional leaders were present.

Attendees said that they had made progress. This included an agreement between two White House aides and a close ally to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who would represent Biden in the multilateral negotiations.

McCarthy said that "there is now a better overall process."

The White House stated that Biden "instructed staff to continue meeting daily to discuss outstanding issues." He stated that he wanted to speak with leaders by phone later this week and then meet them when he returned from overseas.

Biden, according to the White House's summary of their hour-long meeting, is "optimistic" that both sides can reach a bipartisan budget agreement by negotiating in good faith.

The Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) described the meeting as "productive and good". He also noted that it had been "more cordial than" a meeting held last week.

Schumer stated that "having a bipartisan measure in both chambers was the only way... to avoid default."

Amid the current delicate situation of debt ceiling talks, the White House announced Tuesday that the second leg in the President's international trip would be cancelled.

Biden will depart for Japan on Wednesday to attend the Group of Seven Summit. Biden will return to the U.S. immediately following the Group of Seven summit on Sunday. He will no longer make the planned trips to Papua New Guinea or Australia.

It will be a crucial moment in the effort to prevent a major economic blow and a first ever default on U.S. government debt.

Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris met with McCarthy and Senate Majority and Minority Leaders Chuck Schumer and Hakeem Jeffreys, D.Y. McCarthy also said that his side will be represented by Rep. Garrett Graves (R-La.) and the White House will deploy Shalanda young, director of White House Office of Management and Budget and Steve Ricchetti one of Biden’s closest advisers in the West Wing.

Recent days, the possibility of compromise has been raised by stricter requirements for work in social safety net programs.

House Republicans have made the work restrictions for social programmes a priority demand. They included them in their partisan bill to limit debt that was passed by that chamber last week.

McCarthy, citing an initiative on the Wisconsin ballot this week, said that "the public wants it." Both parties want it. The idea that [Democrats] would want to force us into default because they won't work with us is absurd to me.

The issue is also a "red line" for progressive Democrats. This fact could sabotage the maths of any deal on debt limits that passes the House.

Ro Khanna (a California Democrat, member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus) said on MSNBC that increasing the work requirements for federal programs is "not an option" for him.

Khanna said, "It is cruel. Especially as we are seeing the economy slow down." "I hope the president will follow through on what he stated, that we should pay off our debts before we negotiate the budget."

Biden responded to a question over the weekend about work requirements by pointing out his own Senate voting record in the 1990s for welfare work requirement.

Biden told a crowd in Rehoboth (Del.) on Sunday that he voted in favor of tougher aid programs. "I'm still waiting to see what the exact proposal is," Biden said Sunday in Rehoboth, Del.

The Republican bill that was passed last month included work requirements for Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food stamps.

The White House confirmed Tuesday that Biden will reject some of the proposed requirements.

Karine Jean Pierre, White House Press Secretary, said that Biden would "not accept proposals" which take away health insurance from people. She did not mention, however, that Biden would not accept any changes to the food stamps program or temporary assistance programs.

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