By Karen Stokes
President Biden met with Speaker Kevin McCarthy, Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Leader Chuck Schumer, and Leader Mitch McConnell Tuesday afternoon at the White House to discuss the debt limit.
The hour-long meeting in the Oval Office garnered little to show that they moved toward a deal to raise the debt ceiling.
Republicans are demanding fiscal reforms in exchange for raising the debt ceiling, while Democrats maintain that any discussion of future spending must be separate from paying for prior debts.
If both sides cannot reach a deal to raise the debt limit, the US may not be able to pay its bills come June.
“The consequences are pretty big, we have never defaulted on our debt before and as Secretary Yellen has said, it would be economic chaos,” said Joelle Gamble, White House Economist. “It would wreak havoc on working people, seniors and cost millions of jobs all while increasing the cost of borrowing.”
Gamble said the president’s plan to grow the economy will also help bring in more revenue to the U.S. government.
“He will continue to make investments in infrastructure and innovation and manufacturing that will lead to good paying jobs and that will attract private sector investment into the U.S. economy. There has been more than $435 billion in private sector investments since the president took office,” she said.
“President Biden is also focused on lowering costs for families, prescription drug costs, insulin, healthcare and energy bills,” Gamble said. “On top of that with the Inflation Reduction Act we passed provisions that will actually help the IRS go after the wealthy who aren’t actually paying their fair share. If they would pay their fair share it would actually bring millions of revenue that would help reduce the deficit.”
Gamble explained that the US dollar is deeply trusted around the world and that the US economy is strong and because the US always meets their obligations and never fails to pay our bills, in fact Congress has voted to prevent default 78 times.
“Everyone in the meeting understood the risk of default,” Biden said, speaking to reporters after the meeting. “I made clear during our meeting that default is not an option.”
President Joe Biden and top congressional leadership will meet again on Friday.