President Joe Biden made a significant shift in his stance on Monday by requesting House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to engage in negotiations over the debt limit. This change of direction contradicted the White House’s previous official position, and the president proposed a meeting on May 9 to address the issue and prevent a default.
According to Punchbowl News, during his trip to Israel, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy received a call from President Joe Biden, signaling a willingness to schedule a meeting and engage in negotiations regarding the debt limit. This move comes after a period of stonewalling tactics, suggesting a potential breakthrough in addressing this crucial issue.
On Monday, Sen Joe Manchin (D-WV) joined the voices of concerned lawmakers, urging Biden to engage in negotiations with McCarthy. The calls for compromise gained momentum following Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s warning that the United States faces a potential default on its debts as early as June 1.
Last Wednesday, Speaker McCarthy and House Republicans managed to pass a bill to raise the debt limit. Reports suggest that the Biden administration was caught off guard by McCarthy’s successful passage of the bill, leaving them surprised and momentarily unprepared to respond to the outcome.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Monday, “It’s not a plan. It’s a recipe for economic disaster.”
Jean-Pierre said House Republicans “need to do their job” and that Congress “must act” to fulfill their constitutional duty.
Throughout Monday afternoon, the White House maintained its consistent stance of stonewalling. However, approximately an hour after the White House press briefing, President Biden made a surprising move by calling House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to initiate a conversation. This unexpected outreach marked a shift in the administration’s approach and hinted at a potential change in the negotiations over the debt limit.
As President Biden and Speaker McCarthy gear up for negotiations, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has taken a different approach by announcing hearings on the House bill. Schumer’s move is seen as a public relations effort to criticize the bill and its contents. However, he has refrained from introducing his own legislation or calling for a vote on the House’s bill, indicating a reluctance to fully endorse or support it at this stage.