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Debt call with McCarthy 'went well', will talk again today: Joe Biden

"It went well," the president told reporters as he arrived back at the White House after a three-day meeting with G7 leaders in Japan. "We'll talk tomorrow"

Joe Biden, US President

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President Joe Biden and Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy will meet today at the White House for talks at on averting a catastrophic US default as time runs short and key differences remain.
 
Ahead of the meeting, Biden’s negotiating team arrived at the US Capitol for discussions with Republican representatives.
President Joe Biden on Sunday struck an upbeat tone about his conversation with House Republican Speaker Kevin McCarthy on raising the debt ceiling.
 
“It went well,” the president told reporters as he arrived back at the White House after a three-day meeting with G7 leaders in Japan. “We’ll talk tomorrow.”
 
House Financial Services Committee Chair Patrick McHenry, a negotiator for McCarthy, also struck an optimistic tone  telling reporters that a call yesterday between Biden and the GOP speaker was “productive” and helped to restart talks.
 
“It got us back in the room together,” McHenry said. “We have a sort of updated sense of our realities. We know the deadline. Both sides are working in good faith, but we’ve got tough issues.”
 
The leaders’ hand-picked negotiators met for more than two hours on Sunday evening in McCarthy’s office at the Capitol but did not discuss the status of those discussions with reporters.
 
Equity markets were mixed ahead of the crucial meeting.
 
The S&P 500 was little changed, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 gained 0.5 per cent, surpassing a 52-week high, even with chipmakers under pressure. Micron Technology sank after China said it’s products failed a cybersecurity review.

“There is a lot of showmanship around the debt ceiling,” said Sarah Hewin, senior economist at Standard Chartered. “The closer we get to June 1 without a resolution, the greater the risk of an accident so there is a lot of potential for markets to get concerned.” Goldman Sachs economists estimated the US Treasury cash balance would drop below what it needs to pay debts by June 8 or 9.

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First Published: May 22 2023 | 10:36 PM IST

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