STORY: With just 10 days left until a default that could rock the American economy and beyond, there is still no deal between debt limit negotiators headed by top congressional Republican Kevin McCarthy and President Joe Biden.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, McCarthy said he would meet with the Democratic President “every day” until they can find a way forward on the federal government’s $31.4 trillion debt ceiling and called the day’s talks the best they’d had.
“We're going to let the teams work tonight, see if we can get progress. But we didn't. Productive but not progress. Well, I would assume I'd meet with President Biden every day till we get this done. This is too important. (Do you think you will meet him tomorrow?) Look, if we don't meet, I'm sure we're going to talk on the phone, but we're going to have the staff get together and then we're going to get back. It was not set that we had to see one another, at least we're going to talk, but nothing's set there.”
Any agreement to raise the limit must pass both chambers of Congress before Biden can sign it into law, which would take several days.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Monday offered a sobering reminder of how little time is left saying the earliest estimated default date remains June 1 and that it is "highly likely" that Treasury will no longer be able to pay all government obligations by early June if the debt ceiling is not raised.
Failure to lift the debt ceiling would trigger a default that would shake financial markets and drive interest rates higher on everything from car payments to credit cards.
Ongoing uncertainty is already weighing on investors and stocks.
Jeff Tomasulo is CEO of Vespula Capital Management and Tactical Income.
He says it’s all grim déjà vu:
"Well, to be frank, I think it's quite ridiculous that we're doing this again, right? I feel like it just shows the rest of the world how dysfunctional our government has been over the last ten, 15 years. And, you know, in my eyes, we're playing Russian roulette with the United States credit. And it shouldn't even be an option. And I don't even know why we continue to allow this to happen where we're, you know, just allowing, you know, these congressmen and senators and these politicians, again, to wreak havoc or to kind of play with the good standing credit of the United States of America."
Biden is racing for a solution after insisting that Republicans should pass a "clean" unconditional increase before he would agree to any spending negotiations.
Under Trump, Congress raised the debt limit three times without a similar demand from Republicans for sharp spending cuts.