McCarthy Says Two Sides ‘Far Apart’ on Debt Limit Talks; Default Would Weaken National Security, Administration Says

May 15, 2023

If the nation can’t pay its bills, it would have a “detrimental” effect on the United States’ reputation, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters Friday.

“It sends a horrible message to nations like Russia and China, who would love nothing more than to be able to point at this and say, ‘See, the… United States is not a stable leader of peace and security around the world,’” Kirby said, according to CQ.

The Congressional Budget Office said Friday that there is “significant risk” the U.S. will not be able to pay its bills in the first two weeks of June if the debt ceiling isn’t raised.

The President and the top four Congressional leaders will meet again tomorrow to discuss the talks their staffs continued to hold through the weekend about the terms of raising the limit, and the White House expressed optimism of progress. But House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told CNN Monday morning that the two sides “are still far apart.”

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told lawmakers last week default would hurt military families.

“This will affect the livelihood of our troops and our civilians, and we won’t be able to pay people like we should,” he said. “And I think that’s something that China and everybody else can exploit,” he said.

Reuters photo by Jim Bourg

May 15, 2023

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