Biden won’t use Amendment 14 to raise debt limit, Treasury official says
Treasury Assistant Secretary Wally Adeyemo said today that Biden would not use Amendment 14 to unilaterally raise the debt ceiling, marking the administration’s most explicit rejection of the proposal.
In an appearance on CNN this morningAdeyemo was asked if Biden would consider using the 14th Amendment to raise the debt ceiling if the country nears default without a bipartisan deal.
“I think the president and the secretary have made it very clear that this is not going to solve our problems now. So, yes, that’s a no,” Adeyemo said, adding that the only way forward is for Congress to raise the debt ceiling.
«We don’t have a Plan B that allows us to honor the commitments we’ve made to our creditors, to our seniors, to our veterans, to the American people,» Adeyemo said. “The only plan we have is the one that has worked for over 200 years in this country, which is that the United States of America should pay all its bills and pay them on time.”
Republicans are shutting up, often that means a deal is near
With the high-stakes negotiations entering a do-or-die phase ahead of the holiday weekend, the typically boisterous and leaky Republican conference has gone silent on the outlines of the emerging deal.
“I’m not worried about anyone commenting at this point on what they think is or isn’t there,” McCarthy said this morning when asked about reports of a two-year deal going on behind closed doors. “Any time we come to an agreement, we will make sure to inform our entire conference first.”
Those briefings are yet to take place, and Republicans across the party’s ideological spectrum claim to be ignorant of the contours of the deal.
“There are no smoke signals yet,” a Freedom caucus member told NBC News, saying Republican leaders had not told them “anything” specific about the deal.
Even the typically chatty members close to the speaker have offered nothing more than apologies today for what little they were able to share about a deal they expect to be asked to vote on next week.
In the Washington negotiations, silence can mean many things. It often signals that a deal is close, with particularly sensitive issues coming to the fore and the circle of informed participants shrinking.
Could that be the case here? Those who know do not say.
“Everyone wants a detail of this. Everybody wants a tweet,” Rep. Patrick McHenry, one of McCarthy’s top negotiators, said Friday morning. «I want an agreement that changes the trajectory of the country.»
Democrats see a two-year debt limit extension take shape
The White House is pushing for a two-year extension of the debt ceiling and is privately optimistic that it will succeed, according to three sources familiar with the negotiations.
A two-year agreement would represent an attempt to resolve the issue until after the 2024 election.
One of the sources said that negotiators are «there on a 2-year debt limit extension,» adding that «we are close» to a final deal, but we are still working on some issues.
It’s not clear that Republicans have agreed to ensure that, as various details of the negotiations remain fluid. McCarthy avoided questions Friday about whether there would be a two-year extension, but said negotiators «made progress last night» and need to «move further now.»
McCarthy’s House-passed bill included an extension of less than a year. Hardline Republicans want a short fuse so they can return to demanding more concessions before the next election.
Rep. Gaetz predicts that any debt ceiling deal will pass with bipartisan support from moderates
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., a hardline Republican who has criticized McCarthy, predicted today that a bipartisan debt ceiling bill would pass with about 80 to 100 Democratic votes and about 140 to 160 Republican votes. .
He said «the squad,» a progressive group of lawmakers, and the House Freedom Caucus would likely oppose any bipartisan deal, referring to a group of progressive Democrats and the House’s staunchest conservatives. In a Twitter Spaces event, Gaetz predicted that any deal would «skyrocket» in the Senate.
Gaetz added that he sees «no serious threat» to the McCarthy presidency in the debt ceiling negotiations. Gaetz had been part of a coalition of Republicans who initially opposed McCarthy’s presidency, forcing him to make concessions that facilitated his removal from office.
McCarthy says negotiators made ‘progress’ but won’t commit to deal today
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McCarthy said negotiators made «progress» working late last night, but his conference wanted to «change the trajectory» of government spending to reduce federal debt.
Arriving at the Capitol today, McCarthy said he met this morning with Rep. Garret Graves, R-Los Angeles, a key GOP negotiator. He said the staff «made progress last night» but «we have to make more progress now.»
Asked if negotiators would reach a deal today, McCarthy said he would «work as hard as I can» but that any deal had to be «worthy of the American people.»
The speaker said the debt ceiling negotiations «were boiling down to one thing.»
«It’s all about spending,» he said, criticizing Democrats for borrowing money from other countries and for opposing adding work requirements for people receiving government assistance.
Sources: Negotiators say talks have stalled on labor requirements
A person who spoke to negotiators Friday morning said they seemed «cautiously optimistic» about a debt deal, but the two sides remained obsessed with Republican demands for tougher job requirements and a couple of other issues.
A second source familiar with the talks confirmed that both sides remain locked on the issue of labor requirements and that the White House is lobbying against policies it fears will «drive Americans into poverty or take away health care.» .
Time is rapidly running out to reach an agreement, draft legislation and pass it in the House and Senate before the predetermined June 1 deadline. But the first source, a Republican, said he believes Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will be able to find a way to extend the June 1 deadline.
«I think he will come forward and say we can prioritize payments,» the person said. «It doesn’t mean the markets won’t react unfavorably; it’s a risky thing to do.»
Debt ceiling talks ‘close’ but ‘not there yet’, source says
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Negotiations on whether to raise the debt ceiling are «close, but not there yet,» according to a Democratic source familiar with the status of the talks.
The broad parameters of a deal are being «tightened,» the source said, but the White House and congressional Republicans still need to work out the details of a deal.
The source said they are hopeful there will be language of a deal over the long weekend, but that any deal is still up for negotiation.
Debt Ceiling Deal Forecast: Maybe Today
Everyone in Washington continues to try to figure out if today will be the day.
A Democrat familiar with the negotiations offered this view: «I don’t think it’s today, but it could be.»
Stock futures rise ahead of Friday market open
Stock futures rose slightly on Friday as investors watched for signs of progress in debt ceiling negotiations. CNBC reported.
Dow Jones Industrial Average Futures increased 51 points, or 0.2%. S&P 500 Futures advanced 0.2%. Nasdaq-100 futures rose 0.4%.
Washington is also watching Wall Street. A dip in the market, some DC insiders have speculated, may be the pressure needed to push a deal across the finish line.