Hiroshima, Japan (CNN) President Joe Biden issued a stern warning on Sunday, acknowledging that congressional Republicans could use a national default to damage him politically and that the time to use possible unilateral measures to raise the federal debt limit is over. Agreement.
Characterizing the GOP proposals as “extreme” and warning that they may not garner enough support in Congress, Biden told fellow world leaders gathered in Japan that he could not assure the United States would not default on the Group of 7 talks.
“I can’t guarantee they won’t force a default by doing something outrageous,” he said.
Biden’s comments were the latest sign that talks between the White House and congressional Republicans are far from over as he prepares to return to Washington.
He was expected to speak with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy by phone shortly after taking off on Air Force One, but it was unclear whether that conversation would break the logjam.
“My guess is he’ll want to talk to me directly about making sure we’re all on the same page,” he said.
Republicans are seeking spending cuts in the federal budget in exchange for their support for raising the nation’s debt ceiling. On Sunday, Biden acknowledged “significant” differences with Republicans in some quarters, insisting that while he is open to cutting spending, revenue is “not off the table” as part of a deal.
“Most of what they’ve already proposed is simply, quite frankly, unacceptable,” Biden said at a news conference. “It’s time for Republicans to accept that there is no bipartisan deal, just on their partisan terms. … They need to move, too.”
Pressed on whether he would be charged for a default situation, he said based on what he provided, he should be innocent, but conceded that “nobody will be innocent” as he suggested some of his political rivals might encourage default. to derail his re-election bids.
“I think some MAGA Republicans in the House are aware of the damage to the economy, and because I’m the president, and a president is responsible for everything, Biden will take the blame, and that’s a way to ensure Biden doesn’t get re-elected,” he said.
Biden outlines flaws in 14th Amendment argument
Biden also addressed the possibility Using the 14th Amendment He has the power but no time to use unilateral action to keep the US government borrowing in the absence of a deal.
“I think we have the authority. The question is, can it be done and implemented in a timely manner, and it can’t — won’t be appealed?” Biden asked, calling the question of whether the appeal would be resolved before the default deadline “unsettled.”
Pressed by CNN’s Phil Mattingly to clarify whether he thought the 14th Amendment could be implemented as a serious and concrete option, the president made it clear that maneuvering would not succeed in the remaining short window.
“We’re not going to come up with a unilateral measure that’s going to be successful in two weeks or three weeks. That’s the problem. So that’s in the hands of the lawmakers. But my hope and intent is to solve this problem,” he said.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned that the US could default on its debts. June 1st soon.
Negotiations at an impasse in Washington
On Saturday afternoon, McCarthy said negotiators could not resume talks with the administration until Biden returned to Washington.
“Unfortunately, the White House has moved backwards,” the California Republican said. “I don’t think we can move forward until the president comes back.”
Biden has been traveling abroad since leaving Washington on Wednesday to attend the Group of 7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan. Biden is scheduled to fly back to DC on Sunday, a shortened version of his trip that originally stopped in Australia and Papua New Guinea. Biden cuts final legs amid debt ceiling negotiations
Biden asked his team to coordinate with the speaker to arrange a conversation on Sunday morning eastern time, which would be the first conversation between the two since debt negotiations stalled amid disputes over spending limits.
Rep. Dusty Johnson, a Republican from South Dakota, confirmed on Saturday that the White House had offered to cap future spending at current levels, which Johnson called “unreasonable.”
Johnson, a McCarthy ally and chairman of the centrist Main Street Caucus, was one of several key players briefed on the talks by Republican negotiators.
“Negotiations didn’t go well today,” Johnson said. “The paper issued by the White House is a huge step backwards. And it undermines all the progress that was made on Wednesday and Thursday. … It puts the negotiations in jeopardy.”
Johnson warned, “We are at risk of default.”
This story and topic have been updated with additional improvements.
CNN’s Sam Fossum, Haley Talbot and Melanie Sanona contributed to this report.