McCarthy made his statement ahead of Biden's annual State of the Union address to reinforce his role as the lead congressional negotiator. He called on the president to work and find common ground on a responsible debt limit increase, as defaulting on the debt is not an option.
Disagreements on Order of Topics
The White House has stated that Biden will discuss federal spending cuts with Republicans after the debt ceiling is lifted. At the same time, Republicans want to use the debt ceiling as leverage for spending cuts after two years of Democratic control of the House and Senate. Despite their differences, both sides have agreed to continue talking.
Biden's Position on Debt Ceiling
Biden is expected to insist that raising the debt limit is not negotiable and should not be used as a bargaining chip. His top economic advisor, Brian Deese, has stated that the idea of meeting the country's financial obligations should not be used as leverage.
Standoff and Possible Compromise
Despite the appearance of a standoff, McCarthy and Biden have met and emerged with the belief that they could find common ground. The White House and McCarthy's staff are in touch to discuss the next steps.