On Wednesday, Democratic President Joe Biden and senior legislative Republican Kevin McCarthy conducted fruitful discussions to increase the $31.4 trillion debt limit and prevent a disastrous default.
After a four-hour White House meeting, U.S. House Speaker McCarthy indicated discussions had improved and would resume that evening. Despite unsolved concerns, he projected an accord.
"We've progressed down there. "That's good," McCarthy told reporters. I want the correct deal. We're getting there."
White House spokesman Karine Jean-Pierre said negotiations are productive.
"If it keeps going in good faith, we can get to an agreement here," she remarked during a briefing during negotiations.
The White House and congressional Democrats also accused Republicans of holding the economy hostage to pursue an agenda they couldn't enact. Republicans need Democratic votes to approve any agreement, so they must make additional compromises.
"Just listen to members of The House Freedom Caucus... now openly referring to the full faith and credit of the United States as a hostage," White House spokeswoman Jean-Pierre stated.
Ratings agencies have noted McCarthy's insistence on budget cutbacks and Biden's desire to maintain spending.
Wednesday saw Fitch place the US's "AAA" ratings on negative monitoring. The agency claimed "risks have risen" that the debt limit would not be lifted by the X-date, when the Treasury runs out of money, and that "increased political partisanship... is hindering reaching a resolution."
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