Published: 2023-05-23 09:48
Last Updated: 2023-06-02 00:49
A top US Republican Monday said his first one-on-one talks in months with President Joe Biden to avert a calamitous debt default were "productive" but that there was still no deal.
The White House meeting came after Biden returned from a trip to Asia early to hammer out a deal ahead of the US Treasury's June 1 cut-off date for Congress to authorize more borrowing.
"I felt we had a productive discussion. We don't have an agreement yet, but I did feel the discussion was productive in areas (where) we have differences of opinion," House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said after the talks.
McCarthy told reporters that negotiators were going to "work through the night" to move the sides closer and that he and Biden would "talk every day to try to find a way to get this done."
Debt limits are raised periodically to cover repayments on loans that have already been approved and spent, but House Republicans are insisting this time that averting a default must be paired with deep cuts to bring down the country's USD31.8 trillion debt.
As they sat down for the meeting, Biden said "I am optimistic we are going to make some progress," adding both sides understood they have "a significant responsibility" to solve the impasse.