Watch Live: Biden delivers remarks on avoiding default
Washington — President Biden is delivering remarks Wednesday on avoiding default and addressing the debt ceiling, moments before he leaves for a trip to Japan.
Congress and the White House have less than two weeks to reach an agreement to address the debt ceiling before reaching the date at which the U.S. will be unable to pay its bills and default on its debt. The president is cutting short a scheduled trip to Asia to continue working toward a deal, returning Sunday.
“Before I leave, I wanted to say a word about the status of negotiations with congressional leaders,” Mr. Biden said. “We had a productive meeting yesterday with all four leaders in the Congress. It was civil and respectful and everyone came to the meeting I think in good faith. I’m confident that we’ll get the agreement on the budget, that America will not default.”
“The leaders have all agreed, we will not default,” Mr. Biden added. “Every leader has said that.”
Representatives for the president and for House Speaker Kevin McCarthy are continuing to meet, after Mr. Biden, McCarthy, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell gathered at the White House on Tuesday.
McCarthy also struck a somewhat optimistic tone about the negotiations after Tuesday’s meeting, saying it was “a little more productive” than previous sessions but cautioning that the two sides are still “a long way apart.” He said he and the president both named negotiating teams to continue talks at a lower level.
On the Senate floor Wednesday morning, Schumer called the Tuesday meeting “the most positive we’ve had.”
“There was goodwill, an openness to work together, and it was a promising step forward,” Schumer said.
Mr. Biden is delivering remarks in the Roosevelt Room.
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