Debt ceiling negotiations continue

May 23, 2023

We don’t have an agreement yet. But I did feel like the discussion was productive.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) regarding his meeting with President Joe Biden about the debt ceiling.

What To Know: The debt ceiling is the max amount of money the U.S. can borrow to fund government operations. It currently sits at approximately $31.4 trillion, but lawmakers must reach an agreement for it to be raised (or suspended) by next Thursday, June 1, to keep paying the country’s bills, according to Federal Research Chair Janet Yellen.

Why It Matters: President Biden and Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) met in-person on Monday to discuss how to cut down annual budget deficits (Republicans want to cut spending while the Biden administration has offered to keep spending levels the same). While no deal was made, both men described the meeting as “productive.”

Big Picture: The U.S. has never defaulted on its debt, so the impact remains TBD. But some argue regardless of a deal, dominoes have begun to fall: The Wall Street Journal outlines three of those scenarios in this article: “Debt-ceiling standoff could start a recession, but default would be worse.”

No debt ceiling agreement in White House meeting, though Biden and McCarthy call talks productive (The Associated Press)

by Jenna Lee,