Joe Biden says U.S. can still “avoid” debt ceiling suspension

A reporter asked Joe Biden if he was worried about negotiations with Republicans, replying “not at all,” assuring that these types of deals occur in phases

President Joe Biden said Saturday that he was confident about the possibility of reaching an agreement with the Republican Party to suspend the debt ceiling and, when asked by the press, he said: “I still believe that a default can be avoided”.

The Democratic leader made these statements in response to questions from the press at the beginning of his meeting with the Prime Minister of Australia, Anthony Albanese, in the framework of the G7 summit being held from Friday to Sunday in the Japanese city of Hiroshima.

After the opening remarks by the two leaders, a reporter asked Biden if he was concerned about the negotiations with the Republicans, to which he replied, “Not at all.”

Biden stated that these types of negotiations occur “in phases,” so that if the first meetings are not productive, the next meetings are productive, and then the negotiating teams go back to the beginning to put their ideas on the table.

The exchange with the press was brief, but had a contentious element. Biden shushed an Australian journalist who was trying to question him when he was talking about the debt ceiling negotiations.

“Please shut up,” Biden told him.

The United States has never defaulted on the national debt, but every so often it looms that way because, unlike other countries, its Executive can only issue debt up to the limit set by Congress, which has the power to suspend that ceiling as it sees fit.

Deadline Looms: US Government Nears Exhaustion of Debt Reserves, Default Risk Lingers

The current limit of $31.4 billion was reached last January. The government is currently drawing on its reserves to pay the debts it has incurred, but the Treasury Department estimates that those reserves will be exhausted on June 1, at which time the United States would enter into default.

While the President is in Hiroshima for the G7, talks between the White House and the Republicans have continued in Washington with the intention of reaching an agreement before June 1.

According to the White House, the U.S. president received an update on Saturday on the status of the negotiations, which had run into problems in recent hours.

Those negotiations were suspended for a few hours on Friday after a meeting without significant progress, but resumed later in the evening.

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