President Biden and Speaker Kevin McCarthy spoke by phone Saturday evening as the White House and congressional Republicans worked hard to secure a deal to raise the nation’s debt ceiling and avoid a financial crisis.
Representative Patrick D., Republican of North Carolina and one of the leading negotiators. The call came after McHenry told reporters on Capitol Hill earlier Saturday that the parties were “hours or days” away from a deal.
Mr. Trump, who has not spoken directly since meeting at the White House six days ago. Mr. Biden The conversation between McCarthy and McCarthy will determine the final agreement, two people close to the talks said, insisting on anonymity to discuss the state of play. Can be reached after Saturday or negotiations will have to continue.
“There are big, thorny issues – some that the president and the speaker have to deal with at that level,” said Mr.
“My duty is to come up with the most conservative package that the president can sign, and that’s tough,” he added.
Mr. With growing complaints among the hard right that Biden was dominating the talks, Republicans were working urgently to ensure that any deal they agreed to would gain enough support to hold only a slim majority in the House.
After negotiations late on Friday night, which continued into Saturday morning, Mr. McCarthy returned to the Capitol from lunch, carrying a box of food to the dozens of reporters camped outside his office awaiting news.
“I don’t know about today,” said Mr. McCarthy said Saturday when asked if an agreement could be reached. However, Mr. McCarthy said he was “hopeful” of a deal and would brief his members on the full bill before briefing the press.
For days, top White House officials and Republican lawmakers have been hammering out a deal that would raise the debt ceiling for two years while imposing strict limits on discretionary spending unrelated to the military or veterans.
After weeks of urging Congress to raise the debt ceiling without restrictions, Mr. Mr. Biden this month. He began negotiating with McCarthy. Democrats have accused Republicans of holding the economy hostage, while Republicans have raised concerns about the nation’s growing federal debt, which stands at $31.4 trillion.
On Saturday, Mr. McCarthy was pretty clear that whatever deal he cut with President Biden, he needed to support Democrats in passing the legislation.
The group submitted a document on Saturday saying the deal is under consideration Raise the national debt by $4 trillion And drop all but a few Republican demands.
“A complete surrender is underway. Holding the cards at the side,” Smoked Representative Don Bishop, North Carolina Republican and member of the caucus.
Most lawmakers not directly involved in the negotiations have gone to their districts for the week-long Memorial Day holiday, but Mr. They tried to put pressure on McCarthy. Repeal additional money for the Internal Revenue Service, cut clean energy tax credits and defund funds not spent to fight Covid-19.
Critics of the terms of the deal do not know its details, Mr. McCarthy said, and Republican negotiators are standing firm in their demand to impose tougher work requirements on Social Safety Net programs as part of the deal.
“Not a chance. Not happening,” Representative Garrett Graves, Republican of Louisiana and one of the negotiators, told reporters Friday about the possibility of dropping the jobs request.
But that may not be enough for members of the House Freedom Caucus.
“If job requirements are the focus of a ‘deal,’ there should be no deal,” Rep. Chip Roy, a Republican from Texas and a member of the caucus, wrote on Twitter. “Talk about a wrong line.”
Mr. Bishop threatened a legislative “war” against the deal if it was little more than a “clean” increase to the debt ceiling that would take the issue off the table after the 2024 election.
Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen said on Friday that the U.S. could run out of money to pay its bills by June 5, giving Congressional leaders a little more time than previously estimated to maintain the urgency to raise or suspend a deal. Credit limit. A default would set up a cascade of potential problems for the US economy.
Democrats tried to ensure that the public would blame Republicans if the country failed.
“MAGA Republicans have created a default crisis — and veterans, seniors and working families will pay the price,” said Representative Catherine M. Clerk, House no. 2 Democrats, wrote on Twitter.