President Biden says US 'default is not an option'

·1-min read
© Alex Brandon, AFP

President Joe Biden said Tuesday he made clear in a meeting with top Republican lawmakers that a US default "is not an option," as both sides failed to reach a breakthrough on the country's debt limit.

Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, met with Biden at the White House in the latest round of a power struggle threatening massive consequences for the world's largest economy.

The Republicans were also joined by the top two congressional Democrats: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries.

While they did not reach an agreement on raising or suspending the debt ceiling, the group will meet again on Friday.

"We need to take the threat of default off the table," Biden said after the talks, warning of dire economic consequences that would ensue.

He conceded it was "possible" he did not make the trip, telling reporters: "If somehow we got down to the wire and still haven't resolved this... I would not go."

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