House Speaker Kevin McCarthy will head to the White House late Monday afternoon for the third time this month in the hopes of finding some way forward on a debt ceiling agreement with President Biden.
They are expected to meet at 5:30 p.m., the White House announced, just 10 days left until the U.S. government is expected to run out of cash to pay its current obligations.
Negotiators for both McCarthy, R-Calif., and Biden have been meeting for more than a week, and met again for about two and a half hours on Sunday night, just two days after Republicans called for a “pause” in the talks because no progress was being made. Aides declined to offer details Sunday about whether things were getting any better as McCarthy prepared for his Monday meeting with Biden.
One of McCarthy’s top allies, House Financial Services Chair Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., told reporters outside the speaker’s office on Monday that talks had been productive but said there were still obstacles to overcome.
When asked for an update on the talks on Sunday evening, McCarthy’s office pointed Fox News Digital to the speaker’s earlier exchange with reporters that struck a hopeful tone. He told the press he had spoken with the president, who was on his way back from the G-7 summit in Japan, in a “productive phone call.”
“I told him, we don’t have to meet in the morning. You know, let’s have some sleep. And then we agreed that he and I are going to get together tomorrow, later in the afternoon, and work out that time to see what we can come to,” McCarthy said.
Democrats have insisted on raising the debt limit without preconditions. But Republicans are lining up behind the House-passed Limit, Save, Grow Act, which would increase the federal borrowing limit by $1.5 trillion while also slashing spending by roughly $150 billion from this year to the next.
Both sides have agreed that action is needed to reduce the deficit, but each has different ideas about how to do it – Republicans are looking to cut spending from today’s levels, while Democrats have called to increase tax revenue from the ultra-wealthy and large corporations.
Monday’s White House meeting is expected to be the first without Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., since February.
Fox News’ Nick Rojas contributed to this report.