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Failure to pay: On D-10, Biden tries to contain situation – 05/23/2023 at 00:05

Joe Biden during a press conference after the G7 in Hiroshima on May 21, 2023 (AFP/Brendan Smialowski)

D-10. As an American default threatens, Joe Biden will again try to reconcile with his arch-rival Kevin McCarthy on Monday.

As he received the Speaker of the House of Representatives in the Oval Office, the US President assured that he was “optimistic” about the possibility of a “breakthrough” at the end of the meeting.

“We can find common ground,” Kevin McCarthy told reporters there in a short speech.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen remembered the meeting’s stakes well and reiterated on Monday that it was “highly possible” that the US would run out of public money after June 1.

The duo, who have already seen each other twice within two weeks with other heads of parliament, are meeting face to face this time.

This summit meeting, without Joe Biden, should resume discussions at the level of advisers’ groups, which have apparently turned sour this weekend.

The 80-year-old Democrat, who returned from the G7 summit in Japan on Sunday, had originally planned to extend his diplomatic tour in Oceania, but a political-budgetary imbroglio in Washington forced him to cut his trip short.

– Hostage –

To eliminate the risk of bankruptcy, Congress — a Democratic-led Senate and a Republican-majority House — must vote to raise the maximum authorized public debt ceiling.

Chart depicting the US debt ceiling since October 2005 (AFP/)

Republicans want to drastically cut public spending. Joe Biden, who is campaigning for re-election in 2024 on a social justice pledge, opposes it.

Asked on CNN before the meeting, Kevin McCarthy wanted to be optimistic, promising that “what we’ve negotiated will be the right solution to get us on the right track by the majority of Republicans.”

The US president told him on Monday that he was certainly in favor of reducing the deficit, but needed to be “interested in tax loopholes and making sure the rich pay their fair share”.


A sign in Washington on May 19, 2023 (AFP/Mandel NGAN)

The “debt ceiling”, more than 31,000 billion dollars – a record in the world – was reached several months ago, but the central government has so far managed the situation with accounting arbitrators.

In the event of a default, the US will no longer be able to repay holders of Treasuries, the global fund’s investment king. The government can no longer provide fixed salaries to government employees, or pensions to veterans.

Many economists warn that the consequences for the US and global economy could be catastrophic.

– Constitution –

So who will give first? A US president who knows full well that a recession, whatever its political origins, will compromise his chances of re-election? Or is Kevin McCarthy, depending on a handful of radical elected officials, calling on him — like former President Donald Trump — not to “bend”?

Kevin McCarthy during a press conference outside the White House, May 16, 2023 (AFP/Mandel NGAN)

The Democratic left is forcing Joe Biden to invoke the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution, which prohibits the First World Power from “questioning” its debt.

In this case the government will issue new loans as if there was no debt ceiling.

However, this strategy is fraught with legal risks, especially when someone like Joe Biden anchors the Supreme Court firmly to the right.

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