What to Know in Washington: Debt Talks Planned to Resume Tuesday

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President Joe Biden, Speaker Kevin McCarthy, and other congressional leaders are poised to reconvene this week after staff-level talks held throughout the weekend, with the White House sending signs of guarded optimism.

Biden told reporters Sunday in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware that he expects to meet McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Tuesday. A person familiar with discussions confirmed that the meeting is expected then but cautioned that plans could change.

“I remain optimistic because I’m a congenital optimist. But I really think there’s a desire on their part as well as ours to reach an agreement and I think we’ll be able to do it,” Biden told reporters.

Photographer: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images
President Joe Biden speaks to reporters before boarding Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews

Biden is due to leave Wednesday for a foreign trip that includes the G-7 and Quad summits. He said Sunday he still plans to go.

Related: Budget Talks Inch Forward as Debt Deadline and Biden Trip Near

When asked about if he would support tougher work requirements as part of a deal, he said he’s supported some in the past. “For Medicaid, it’s a different story and so I’m waiting to hear what their exact proposal is,” Biden said, declining to elaborate.

McCarthy has said any change to the limit is contingent on a budget deal; Biden has criticized Republicans for risking a default for leverage in talks.

Additionally for Biden, risks of a historic default add to factors that may affect his reelection hopes, as he already contends with persistent inflation, a regional banking crisis, and a possible recession. Billy House and Josh Wingrove have the full story.

Default Deadline Looms

Yellen Plans X-Date Update, Defends Biden’s Spending Plans

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will update Congress on how close the US is to defaulting on its financial obligations within the next two weeks and defended the steep rise of debt issuance under the Biden administration.

Treasury Has Just $88 Billion of Measures Left to Avoid Debt Cap

The Treasury Department said in a statement Friday that it had just $88 billion of extraordinary measures to help keep the government’s bills paid as of May 10.


  • The president and first lady will return to the White House from Rehoboth Beach, Delaware at 4:05 p.m.


  • The House meets at noon and is set to vote on two bills, including a measure on government searches of electronic communications and another to honor law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.
  • The Senate returns at 3 p.m. to consider a judicial nominee.

Happening on the Hill

Air Travel Woes Spark Debate as Congress Crafts FAA Policy Bill

A buildup of woes in the aviation industry including disruptions, a system outage that led to a rare flight halt, and an increased demand for air traffic controllers and pilots has elevated pressure on lawmakers in coming months to draft and pass major legislation renewing and revamping aviation programs.

McCarthy’s Chief of Staff to Retire in Early June

Dan Meyer, chief of staff to Speaker McCarthy announced his retirement, ending four decades of influencing policy and politics on Capitol Hill and at the White House.

Biden Pleads for Congress to Take Steps to Curb Gun Violence

In a column published Sunday in USA Today, Biden pleaded for Congress to do more to curb gun violence as a wave of mass shootings shows no sign of abating.

US Climate Bill Lures $300 Million Danish Green Hydrogen Factory

Denmark’s Topsoe A/S is preparing to spend $300 million on a US hydrogen electrolyzer factory in the latest example of Biden’s wave of federal incentives drawing European investment.

Politics, Probes and 2024

Biden Says Democracy Remains Under Attack in Howard Speech

Biden cast American democracy as under attack, echoing themes from both his 2020 campaign and his nascent reelection bid, in a speech Saturday at Howard University’s commencement ceremony.

Trump Changed the Rules to Make Winning the Nomination Easier

Republicans seeking to keep Donald Trump from becoming their party’s nominee will have to overcome rules even more favorable to the former president than the ones that helped him clinch the 2016 nomination.

DeSantis Campaigns in Iowa as Trump Cancels Due to Weather

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) told Iowa Republicans Saturday that “the time for excuses is over” and said his party can’t look backward if it wants to defeat Biden in 2024.

Baker McKenzie Drops Tucker Carlson in Fox Discrimination Suit

Baker McKenzie is dropping former Fox News star Tucker Carlson as a client after a former producer argued the firm had engaged in a conflict by also representing Fox.

California’s Newsom Slams Congress for ‘Dumb’ Immigration Policy

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) slammed McCarthy for the country’s broken immigration system as tens of thousands of migrants gather at the Mexico border, and cities from New York to San Diego prepare for the arrival of thousands more.

What Messages Motivate Voters These Days? Ballots & Boundaries

We’re a few days away from getting more data points to fill in the picture of what political messages are hitting their marks.

What Else We’re Reading

Border Crossings Fall 50%, Easing Fear of Migration Surge

The number of migrants seeking to cross the southern border has been “markedly down” during the past few days, bucking expectations of a surge after pandemic-era border rules expired, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said.

FDA Blood Donor Policy for Gay Men Perpetuates Stigma Concerns

The FDA’s updated blood donor screening policy falls short of eliminating obstacles for members of the LGBT community wishing to donate, public health researchers and advocates say.

Attacks on Diversity Plans, Funding Put Colleges in a Legal Bind

Public colleges and universities risk becoming more vulnerable to bias claims or losing funding as Republican state lawmakers push legislation requiring them to ditch diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.

White House Envoy Optimistic Port Talks to Produce Deal Soon

A tentative agreement covering longshore workers at the country’s largest ports is within reach after a year of negotiations between the union and employers, according to a Biden administration official involved in the talks.

G-7 Finance Chiefs Unite to Condemn Russia and Counter China

Under the shadow of swelling risks to the global economy, finance chiefs from the world’s wealthy nations presented a united front with more support for Ukraine, a plan for diversifying supply chains and a vow to fill gaps in financial regulation.

To contact the reporters on this story: Brandon Lee in Washington at blee@bgov.com; Michaela Ross in Washington at mross@bgov.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kayla Sharpe at ksharpe@bloombergindustry.com

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