- House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said in an interview with CNBC that he does not believe the United States will default on its debt as tense negotiations over the debt ceiling continue.
- “I think at the end of the day we don’t have a debt default,” McCarthy told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Wednesday morning.
Speaker of the U.S. House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks to members of the media after a meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House in Washington, DC, on May 16, 2023.
Almond Ngan | AFP | Getty Images
WASHINGTON – House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said in an interview with CNBC that he does not believe the United States will default on its debt as tense negotiations over the debt ceiling continue.
“I think at the end of the day we don’t have a debt default,” McCarthy told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Wednesday morning.
McCarthy refrained from saying he was optimistic about the status of the talks, but said he was encouraged by President Joe Biden’s willingness to negotiate. Biden said Tuesday he would cut short his trip to Asia to further engage in debt-limitation talks.
“Our meetings before were employees and the four managers, and there was no time that we were going to get an agreement that continues like that,” McCarthy said. “Now [Biden has] finally admitted that we have to negotiate and we have a structure to negotiate. The problem is that the timeline is very short.”
McCarthy and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, in separate interviews with “Squawk Box” Wednesday morning, agreed that negotiations were moving forward but remained entrenched in their positions.
Jeffries called a Republican request to tie work requirements to federal food benefits a “non-starter,” but he remains optimistic about negotiations.
“It was a very positive meeting yesterday,” Jeffries said. “It was calm. It was honest to the discussion, and I’m optimistic that common ground will be found in the next week or two.”
Jeffries noted that the last time work requirements were proposed, in the 2018 Farm Bill, Republicans including McCarthy voted against it.
“It is completely unreasonable to believe that at this particular time, in the context of a debt ceiling settlement that has been manufactured as part of an effort to avoid default, that these types of so-called work requirements can be imposed on the American people,” he said.
This story is in development. Please check back for updates.