McCarthy: Debt deal could still pass by June 1
The two men last met in person on May 16, ahead of Biden’s trip to the G-7 summit in Japan.
“We could get a deal tonight, we could get a deal tomorrow” or this week, McCarthy added, and it would “always be possible” to avert a potential apocalypse on June 1.
McCarthy spoke to reporters Monday afternoon, shortly after the second meeting in two days between GOP negotiators and White House officials.
Representatives. Attic graves (R-La.) and Patrick McHenry (RN.C.), the speaker’s emissaries in the talks, have said little publicly about the progress made in the past 24 hours. Democratic negotiators — Biden’s top adviser Steve Ricchetti, White House budget chief Shalanda Young and congressional liaison Louisa Terrell — also remained silent.
Several Democrats, however, privately described the talks as having worsened over the weekend.
A White House official said Monday that McCarthy’s negotiators took an increasingly tough line during talks late last week and over the weekend, including insisting on new restrictions for the federal nutrition assistance program known as SNAP that had not been included in the bill passed by the GOP House.
And the White House spent the first half of the day releasing a series of articles highlighting the disastrous impact a default would have on small businesses, veterans and major health programs.
On Monday, however, McCarthy called the talks “professional” and “productive” – although he acknowledged the wide gaps that still exist. Republicans demanded deep cuts in domestic spending, as well as new demands such as work requirements for social programs, which the speaker said remain a priority.
“Nothing is agreed upon,” McCarthy said, adding, “Today’s discussions include both parties.”
Adam Cancryn contributed to this report.