The second round of debt-ceiling talks between the White House and congressional leaders appears set for Tuesday, President Joe Biden said Sunday.
“I remain optimistic because I’m a congenital optimist,” Biden told reporters Sunday in Rehoboth Beach, Del. “But I really think there’s a desire on their part as well as ours to reach an agreement. I think we’ll be able to do it.”
When asked about progress of the negotiations, Biden said: “I think they are moving along, hard to tell. We have not reached the crunch point yet.”
NBC News and Bloomberg News first reported Sunday that Biden, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. are planning to meet again Tuesday to discuss the budget and how to avoid a federal default, though they reported the plan was tentative.
The leaders had postponed a meeting that had been scheduled for last Friday, after their first meeting last Tuesday. Biden called that meeting “productive,” but McCarthy said he “didn’t see any new movement” toward ending the debt-ceiling standoff.
Speaking on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday, National Economic Council Director Lael Brainard said negotiations between the White House and McCarthy have been “serious” and “constructive.”
“Our expectation is that Congress will act to avert default in a timely manner,
she said, according to a CBS News transcript.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned that the federal government’s first-ever default could happen as soon as June 1 if Congress doesn’t raise the borrowing limit, and has said it could cause “financial chaos.”
Biden is scheduled to fly to Japan on Wednesday for a G-7 meeting, but has suggested he could cancel the trip if necessary.