Biden says he’s ‘very optimistic’ over debt ceiling; deal could come Friday night

President Joe Biden talks with reporters on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Friday, May 26, 2023, as he heads to Camp David for the weekend. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) Susan Walsh/AP

Biden says he’s ‘very optimistic’ over debt ceiling; deal could come Friday night

Haisten Willis

May 26, 07:11 PM May 26, 08:10 PM

Video Embed

A debt ceiling deal could be reached as soon as Friday night.

President Joe Biden said as much Friday afternoon before departing for Camp David, saying, “Things are looking good. I’m very optimistic.”


“I’m hopeful we’ll know by tonight whether we are going to be able to have a deal,” Biden said.

Negotiators from the White House have been meeting with Republicans from the House of Representatives all week in an attempt to compromise on raising the nation’s debt limit. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen now says the ceiling won’t be reached until June 5, but talks may not go down to the wire.

Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), one of Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s negotiators, said there are still some things the two parties have to work through and that he doesn’t know how long that’s going to take but that Biden’s comments are a “hopeful sign” to him.

“The hopeful sign that the president is saying those things tells me his White House team might be in a better disposition than what we’ve seen in previous days,” McHenry said. “The president said hope and I concur.”

The final sticking point appears to be new work requirements the GOP wants to qualify for entitlement programs, which would only apply to able-bodied adults without dependents.

Asked if he would bow to Republican demands on work requirements, Biden said, “I don’t bow to anybody.”

READ MORE:  Enjoy: Jada Pinkett Smith repeats need to have for 'healing' on premiere of Crimson Table Talk

Shortly after those remarks were made, White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates issued one of the scorching statements he has become known for.

“House Republicans are threatening to trigger an unprecedented recession and cost the American people over 8 million jobs unless they can take food out of the mouths of hungry Americans,” the statement read. “This would be done through new, additional work requirements designed to tie the most vulnerable up in bureaucratic paperwork, which have shown no benefit for bringing more people into the workforce.”

Money saved on the work requirements would pale in comparison to debt added from Trump-era tax cuts, Bates added, saying that Biden and House Democrats are “standing against this cruel and senseless tradeoff.”

Republicans have also said the White House isn’t budging on work requirements.

“The White House continues to prioritize paying people to not work over paying Social Security benefits and Medicare benefits,” Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA) told reporters on Thursday. “Their efforts actually put in jeopardy those very benefits to senior citizens, like Medicare and Social Security, because they’re refusing to negotiate on work requirements.”

But Biden’s statement opens the possibility that the problem could soon be resolved. The president is staying at Camp David Friday and will also spend part of the weekend in Delaware.

Reese Gorman contributed to this report.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

Related Articles

Back to top button