Headline RoundupMay 17th, 2023

Biden Directs Staff to Negotiate Directly with McCarthy in Debt Ceiling Talks

Summary from the AllSides News Team

President Biden met with Speaker Kevin McCarthy and other congressional leaders Tuesday afternoon to discuss raising the nation’s debt limit.

The Details: Yet again, little progress was made, but optimism was reportedly expressed about future talks. McCarthy was pleased that Biden designated a counselor of his, Steve Ricchetti, and Shalanda Young, director of the Office of Management and Budget, to negotiate directly with McCarthy’s team. 

For Context: The Treasury Department will reportedly lose its ability to fulfill U.S. obligations on June 1. Earlier Tuesday McCarthy reiterated the importance of introducing stricter work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which several Democrats labeled a “non-starter.” Senator Whip John Thune (R-SD) suggested a framework for an increase should be done by the end of the week, so lawmakers have enough time to draft and pass legislation by the June deadline.

Key Quotes: “The structure of how we negotiate has improved. It now gives you a better opportunity,” said McCarthy. “I do not share that optimism so long as Speaker McCarthy is one of the only people in the room and he’s still got his finger on the default detonator,” said Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD).

How The Media Covered It: Washington Times (Lean Right bias) highlighted the move for negotiations to occur directly between Biden's and McCarthy’s teams has been a previous suggestion of Mitch McConnell’s. Associated Press (Lean Left bias) criticized McCarthy for first meeting with Biden over 100 days ago, yet only putting forth his own proposal now.

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