Debt ceiling talks continue as deadline, congressional recess approach

U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said debt ceiling talks went past midnight recently as a June 1 deadline looms. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI
1 of 2 | U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said debt ceiling talks went past midnight recently as a June 1 deadline looms. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo

May 25 (UPI) -- With a June 1 deadline looming for a possible U.S. debt default, negotiations continue to progress, according to Republican congressional leaders.

Yet they and congressional Democrats say they are increasingly concerned about too many concessions for a deal to raise the debt limit.


Despite approving raising the debt ceiling during the Trump administration in 2017, 2018 and 2019 with no pre-conditions or spending cut demands, Republicans influenced by the far-right MAGA Freedom Caucus are threatening to cause a credit default that Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said would be catastrophic.

And despite earlier saying he would not negotiate with Republicans over spending cuts because it is the job of Congress to raise the debt ceiling in order not to default on already-approved spending, President Joe Biden seemingly is negotiating over Republican demands.

Military payments, Social Security payments and many other obligations could be missed if the debt ceiling isn't raised on time, causing not only severe economic consequences for the United States but for the global economy, as well.

Republicans are demanding spending cuts without also agreeing to additional tax revenue, which would bring the deficit down faster. Raising the debt ceiling does not authorize more future spending.


House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, talking to reporters at the Capitol Thursday, said the talks went well past midnight but issues were still outstanding. He said "not everybody is going to be happy" with the outcome of the talks.

Meanwhile, House members are headed for a recess as the talks continue.

Several Republicans already have vowed to oppose any compromise they see as not far enough to the right on concerns of their constituents.

In remarks on the House floor Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., said, "On June 1, America may run out of the ability to pay our bills and extreme MAGA Republicans have chosen to get out of town before sundown to flee Washington, D.C., to risk a dangerous default in a crisis that they've created."

Republican Rep. Chip Roy of Texas said on Twitter that there should be strong spending caps. "Republicans should not cut a bad deal," he said.

Both Morningstar and Fitch warn that any missed U.S. government payment would be considered a default and would damage the U.S., government's AAA credit rating.

On Wednesday, Vermont's U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders urged Biden to invoke the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution to avoid default. It stipulates that the national debt is subject to the public debt clause, which allows the United States to "continue to pay its bills on time and without delay."


Among the demands Republicans are making of Biden is that electric vehicle tax credits be repealed, and that $80 billion in additional IRS funding be cut. Both items were in Biden's Inflation Reduction Act.

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