In the midst of a dispute over raising the debt ceiling, President Joe Biden promised on Friday to “have a discussion” about American debt with Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, Reuters reported.
At a meeting with local mayors, Biden stated that a U.S. debt default would be a financial catastrophe unmatched by anything the country has ever seen.
He omitted information about when he may speak with McCarthy, the newly elected Republican Speaker who wants to tie a vote to lift the debt ceiling to budget cutbacks.
In a tweet addressed to Biden, McCarthy said he welcomed the offer to meet and talk about a prudent debt ceiling hike to tackle reckless government spending.
As part of a series of conversations he is arranging with incoming congressional leaders, Biden is eager to speak with McCarthy, according to a statement from White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre.
“Like the President has said many times, raising the debt ceiling is not a negotiation; it is an obligation of this country and its leaders to avoid economic chaos,” she said.
At the White House on Tuesday, Biden will welcome Democratic congressional leaders. However, McCarthy’s visit has not been scheduled yet, according to a White House staffer.
The White House has stated repeatedly that it would not engage in debt ceiling negotiations, and it has used some Republican expenditure cut plans to contrast Democratic goals with those of the GOP.
“As for the broad economic debate in our country, the Speaker and his allies have said that they have a fiscal plan to cut Social Security, cut Medicare, cut other vital programs, and impose a 30 percent national sales tax,” Jean-Pierre said. “We are going to have a clear debate on two different visions for the country – one that cuts Social Security, and one that protects it – and the President is happy to discuss that with the Speaker.”