Biden is due to meet with McCarthy on Wednesday to discuss the debt ceiling

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will meet with R-Calif. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Wednesday, a White House official confirmed to NBC News, amid Republicans’ debt ceiling showdown with Democrats.

The president will welcome McCarthy to the White House for a discussion on a range of issues as part of a series of meetings with congressional leaders at the start of the new Congress, a White House spokesperson said Sunday. The meeting follows Biden’s meeting with Democratic leaders last week, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and the House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, DN.Y.

Biden will discuss his plans to grow the economy while reducing the deficit, the spokesperson continued. The president will ask what McCarthy’s plan is, noting that the first bill the Speaker of the House introduced would increase the deficit by more than $100 billion.

The president also plans to ask McCarthy whether he intends to meet his constitutional obligation to prevent a national default and not endanger the economic security of all Americans, the spokesperson added.

McCarthy first announced he would meet with Biden this week to discuss the debt ceiling in an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation” earlier on Sunday. The Speaker of the House said Republicans would not allow the United States to default and expressed interest in reaching an agreement with the President.

“I know the president said he doesn’t want to have discussions, but I think it’s very important that our whole government is designed to find a compromise,” McCarthy said. “I want to find a reasonable way to raise the debt ceiling while getting control of this spending spree.”

The US government reached its statutory debt ceiling earlier this month. The Treasury Department said at the time that it had begun resorting to “extraordinary measures” to pay the bills and that there was a June 5 deadline to act or risk default.

House Republicans demanded spending cuts in exchange for lifting the debt ceiling and preventing a default on US debt. Party leaders, however, have failed to come up with a unified plan to cut spending, making it difficult for McCarthy to pass a bill with his narrow majority.

The White House had previously said there would be no negotiations and that Congress must allow the government to pay its bills. House and Senate Democratic leaders have backed Biden, demanding that McCarthy present his plan and get it through the House before any discussion.

“I will not let anyone use the full faith and credit of the United States as a bargaining chip,” Biden said last week, in his first major economic remarks of the year, arguing that the GOP proposals would lead to a higher inflation.

McCarthy was quick to chastise Biden’s stance, saying he was “disappointed” but remained determined in his demand for spending cuts.

“Here’s the leader of the free world banging on the table, being irresponsible, saying ‘no, no, no, just raise the limit, make us spend more.’ No. That’s not how adults act,” McCarthy told reporters on Capitol Hill last week. “Let’s find common ground and eliminate unnecessary spending to protect hard-working taxpayers.”

“So the longer he waits, the more he’s putting America’s fiscal peril to win,” the Speaker of the House added.

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