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US debt ceiling: Joe Biden urges Republicans to compromise as talks resume



Joe Biden told reporters on Sunday that he would be willing to cut spending to reach a deal

President Joe Biden and top Republican Kevin McCarthy are due to meet at the White House on Monday for talks on raising the US debt ceiling.

The pair spoke by phone on Sunday as the president was returning from the G7 summit in Japan.

The two sides remain at odds over budget cuts that Republicans demanded as a condition for raising the cap.

Failure to do so by June could result in the US defaulting on its debt.

This would mean that the government could not borrow more money or pay all its bills. It would also threaten to wreak havoc on the global economy and affect prices and mortgage rates in other countries.

As he left Japan on Sunday, Mr Biden told reporters that proposals from Republicans – who control the House of Representatives – were “simply, frankly, unacceptable”.

He added: “It’s time for Republicans to accept that there is no bipartisan deal to be made solely, solely on their partisan terms. They have to move, too.”

But Mr. Biden also said he would be willing to cut spending to reach a deal.

The president canceled foreign visits that were to follow the three-day summit in Hiroshima to deal with the impasse over the federal debt.

McCarthy previously described his call with Mr Biden as productive.

“I think we can solve some of these problems if he understands what we’re looking at,” he told reporters after the pair’s conversation.

On Sunday night, the negotiators met in Mr. McCarthy’s office on Capitol Hill for a summit that lasted about two and a half hours.

Steve Ricchetti, one of Mr. Biden’s representatives and a senior adviser to the president told reporters that negotiating teams would continue to work overnight.

video caption,

See: The debt ceiling explained – in under 90 seconds

Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Sunday that June 1 remained a “hard deadline.” She told NBC that without a deal, “we expect to be unable to pay all of our bills by the beginning of June.”

If the cap is not lifted, the United States could suspend its social security payments and wages to federal and military employees.

The bees have rattled the financial markets. On Friday, the Dow ended down 0.3%, the S&P 500 fell 0.1% and the Nasdaq fell 0.2%.

In return for support for raising the debt ceiling, Republicans are demanding $4.5 billion (£3.61 billion) worth of budget cuts, which include scrapping several of Mr Biden’s legislative priorities. They are also seeking increased spending on the military and border security.

Both President Biden and Mr. McCarthy are under pressure from the left and right of their respective parties to hold the line.

With a one-seat Democratic majority in the Senate and Republicans in narrow control of the House, a deal has so far proven elusive.

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