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The Biden, McCarthy Debt Ceiling Negotiations Have Begun

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

This week the United States hit the debt limit, yet again, bringing the running total to more than $31 trillion. 

"I write to keep you apprised of actions the Treasury Department is taking in regard to the debt limit.  In my letter of January 13, 2023, I noted that Public Law 117-73 increased the statutory debt limit to a level of $31.381 trillion, and informed you that beginning on January 19, the outstanding debt of the United States was projected to reach the statutory limit. This letter serves to notify you, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 8348(l)(2), of the extraordinary measures Treasury began using today," Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen wrote in a letter to congressional leaders Thursday. 


"As I stated in my January 13 letter, the period of time that extraordinary measures may last is subject to considerable uncertainty, including the challenges of forecasting the payments and receipts of the U.S. Government months into the future," Yellen continued. "I respectfully urge Congress to act promptly to protect the full faith and credit of the United States."

As a result, the White House is demanding House Republicans get onboard with raising the debt limit without preconditions. On Friday night, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed negotiations are underway. 

"President Biden looks forward to meeting with Speaker McCarthy to discuss a range of issues, as part of a series of meetings with all new Congressional leaders to start the year.  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," Jean-Pierre released in a statement Friday night. "Congress has always done it, and the President expects them to do their duty once again. "That is not negotiable."


House Speaker Kevin McCarthy also confirmed negotiations have started, noting Republicans want spending changes in exchange for a debt ceiling increase. 

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