WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden’s meeting with the four leaders of Congress, scheduled for Friday, has been postponed until next week, three sources told NBC News.
“Staff will continue to work and all principals have agreed to meet early next week,” a White House spokesman said.
Spokesman Kevin McCarthy said all parties are in agreement with the postponement and that it should not be taken as a sign that talks are failing. “We’ll meet again,” he said, adding that the group believes it will be most productive “to have the staff meet again tomorrow.”
A source familiar with the meetings added: “This is a positive development. The sessions are progressing. Staff continue to meet and it was not the right time to bring it up again with the Headmasters.”
Congressional leaders met at the White House on Tuesday meet That was described as “tense and serious” by a source in the room and didn’t result in a deal. Since then, members of the congressional administration and the White House have been meeting daily.
Recent White House meetings and staff talks with the divided Congress have yielded little progress and there is no discernible way to resolve a potential default Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned about already on June 1st.
Biden, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries continue to insist that the threat of a default, which would be disastrous for the US economy, be removed from the table and that all negotiations follow talks on the be left to the federal budget.
McCarthy, meanwhile, is standing firm in his refusal to extend the debt limit unconditionally and calling for spending cuts. He has the support of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, though both Republican leaders say they don’t want to see the state bankruptcy.
A wildcard in the already tense standoff is former President Donald Trump, the de facto leader of the Republican Party, who this week added fuel to the fire by instigating an unprecedented default unless Democrats give in to Republican policy demands and spending shorten a CNN town hall.
This is an evolving story. Please check again for updates.
Alexandra Bacallao contributed.