Negotiations Continue on Debt Deal

Over the weekend the White House and congressional negotiators broke off talks on raising the nation’s federal borrowing limit over fundamental disagreements on spending limits and tax increases. President Joe Biden, returning from his Asia trip, and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) agreed to meet early this week to try to move the talks forward. The Treasury Department has said that if the borrowing limit is not increased by June 1, the federal government would not be able to meet all of its financial obligations.

White House negotiators are insisting on increasing taxes as part of any agreement, with McCarthy accusing Biden of backtracking on their prior agreement that increasing taxes would not be part of the negotiations. House Budget Committee Chairman Jodey Arrington (R-TX) on ABC’s “This Week” program reaffirmed that the House would not agree to a deal that includes a tax increase, stating that it was “not the time to put a tax on our economy or on working families.”

Several timelines and procedural hurdles must be met in both the House and Senate before legislation can be considered, including a 72-hour review period in the House before it can vote on a debt bill, meaning an agreement must realistically be reached this week. The House and Senate could extend the period by agreeing to a clean debt-limit increase for a very short period, but several legislators have voiced opposition.