President Joe Biden has been criticized for waiting until the threat of a historic default became imminent to negotiate the debt ceiling, despite the looming deadline. The Treasury Department insists the president did not wait and has been pushing for a “clean” bill to raise the debt ceiling above the current limit of roughly $31.4 trillion.
The Treasury Department‘s Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo argued that Biden “didn’t wait” because he proposed a budget in March to reduce the debt by nearly $3 trillion over the next decade. Adeyemo noted, that Republicans passed their own plan in the following month and Biden then invited congressional leaders to discuss “fiscal policy.”
However, Congressional leaders failed to come up with an agreement during a meeting at the White House last week and a planned second meeting on Friday was postponed. Adeyemo contended the conversations were “constructive” and stated that Biden has “made clear” he does not think invoking the 14th Amendment to get around Congress would “solve our problems now.”
But Republicans aren‘t giving up that easily. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R–CA) tweeted on Friday that, “It’s clear that the only responsible way to raise the debt ceiling is to limit reckless spending and get inflation under control.”
Meanwhile, the Congressional Budget Office warned that there is “significant risk” that the government would no longer be able to pay all of its debts at some point during the first two weeks of June if the debt limit remains unchanged.
Adeyemo countered that Biden’s view is that “we should be able to raise the debt limit and also be able to get a deal with regard to fiscal policy.”
This delay has led many to criticize President Biden for waiting until the last minute to negotiate and address the debt ceiling. The deadline is quickly approaching and it remains to be seen if Biden and Congress can come to an agreement before the country faces a potential default.