Following a meeting on Tuesday afternoon, President Biden and congressional leaders made little progress in reaching a deal that would raise the nation’s debt limit. However, both the White House staff and Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) expressed optimism about the future of the negotiations.
The negotiations hit a roadblock after McCarthy once again expressed the demand that stricter work requirements should be enforced for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). However, many Democrats have expressed opposition to that idea.
House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and many others have claimed that this proposal is a “nonstarter,” and that the $11 billion that these changes would save over a decade would hardly have an effect on the nation’s $31.4 trillion debt.
Still, the current impasse is particularly important as Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen had revealed a few weeks before that the nation would be unable to cover its financial obligations as early as June 1st. This means that the White House and Congress only have around two weeks to raise the debt ceiling before the nation defaults on its debts.
McCarthy told reporters following the meeting that the two sides have not yet come to an agreement, but expressed optimism about the possibility that a deal might be achieved by Friday. He added that the one positive is that Biden has agreed for the talks to mainly take place between the White House and the Speaker’s office.
McCarthy informed reporters that Biden had assigned Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young and White House counselor Steve Ricchetti to lead the negotiations with his deputy, Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA).