West News Wire: Following a day in which the country exceeded its borrowing capacity, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Friday agreed to meet with President Joe Biden amid growing economic worries.

McCarthy tweeted, “President Biden: I welcome your request to meet and talk about a fair debt ceiling increase to address wasteful government spending.”

The promise came after Biden earlier in the day told a group of mayors gathered at the White House that, despite his public opposition to talks on the debt ceiling, he would speak with the GOP leader about the national debt and issue, warning that defaulting on obligations would result in a “calamity that exceeds anything that’s ever happened financially in the United States.”

The comments came after the Treasury Department on Thursday resorted to “extraordinary measures” to extend the date that it’s expected to run out of money. And although the measures are expected to hold until early summer, a precarious partisan battle threatens the first-ever default on the national debt.

After some Republicans expressed interest in using the new GOP House majority to seek spending cuts while leveraging the potential default, Democrats have warned of reckless “political brinkmanship,” while the White House has remained adamant that addressing the debt limit should be done in a bipartisan manner “without conditions” and is holding firm to its “no negotiations” stance.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed on Friday that Biden will soon meet with McCarthy on “a range of issues” a point the White House later reiterated in a statement. She added that the president is “looking forward to meeting with Speaker McCarthy,” while noting that the president’s position about negotiations related to the debt ceiling remains firm.

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“It is a basic responsibility that Congress has to deal with the debt ceiling,” she said. “We have been clear on this, the president has been clear on this: It should not be used as a political weapon.”

Meanwhile, Biden said he would address what he called “the big debate” a disagreement about taxing and spending priorities like Social Security during his State of the Union address next month.


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