Although President Biden continues to assure the public that a debt-ceiling deal will be reached — ostensibly before Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s drop-dead date of June 1 — Republicans appear prepared to push negotiation up to and perhaps beyond next Thursday. June 1 is the day the federal government allegedly will run out of money to pay its debts if Congress does not authorize it to borrow more money.
Biden began a White House event on Thursday by addressing the debt limit talks, assuring the public that “there will be no default,” with just a week to go until June 1.
For his part, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy dismissed the House Thursday afternoon so members could go home for the holiday weekend, even while negotiations continue, according to a CNN report.
Some Republicans have expressed skepticism that Yellen’s prognostications for June 1 are accurate or even sincere. They suggest that it could be a negotiating ploy and have advocated within their caucus that Yellen should have to explain how she reached her conclusions.
U.S. Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Ralph Norman (R-SC) have been two of the more vocal in expressing this position. Gaetz told his Republican colleagues they should have Yellen appear and “show her work,” while Norman suggested she be subpoenaed, according to multiple outlets, including The Hill.
Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) stated his position plainly, telling reporters, “The fact is, we’re gonna have cash in June. The fact is, we’re not going to default on our debt. That’s just completely false. We’ve got the money to do it,” per a report in The Hill.
There is cautious optimism on Capitol Hill that the two sides have made progress on reaching a deal, although the specifics of what the budget would look like have not yet been nailed down, as reported by Reuters on Thursday. The news outlet cited an unnamed source who claimed the two sides are just $70 billion apart in what could be a more than $1 trillion deal.
Still, pressure is mounting as credit rating agencies have begun to flag the United State’s usually iron-clad ability to pay its debt, with DBRS Morningstar, Fitch, Moody’s, and Scope all putting the country’s AAA rating under review, per Reuters.