US President Joe Biden speaks to reporters about the continued debt ceiling negotiations before boarding Air Force One as he departs from Joint Base Andrews to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, to spend the weekend at his beach house.—AFP
US President Joe Biden speaks to reporters about the continued debt ceiling negotiations before boarding Air Force One as he departs from Joint Base Andrews to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, to spend the weekend at his beach house.—AFP

WASHINGTON: President Joe Biden said on Saturday that talks with Congress on raising the US government’s debt limit were moving along and more will be known about their progress in the next two days.

“I think they are moving along, hard to tell. We have not reached the crunch point yet,” Biden told reporters at Joint Base Andrews. “We’ll know more in the next two days,” he said.

Biden is expected to meet with Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and other congressional leaders early next week to resume negotiations. The leaders had canceled a planned meeting on Friday to let staff continue discussions.

Aides for Biden and McCarthy have started to discuss ways to limit federal spending as talks on raising the government’s $31.4 trillion debt ceiling to avoid a catastrophic default creep forward, Reuters has reported.

The Treasury Department says it could run out of money by June 1 unless lawmakers lift the nation’s debt ceiling. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Saturday called a showdown over raising the US debt ceiling “more difficult” than in the past but said she remained hopeful a solution could be found to avert a first ever US default Yellen said in an interview on the sidelines of a meeting of Group of Seven finance officials in Japan that she hoped to update the US Congress within the next couple of weeks about when exactly Treasury would run out of funds to pay the government’s bills.

Published in Dawn, May 14th, 2023

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