Debt Ceiling Talks On Sudden ‘Pause’ As Trump Urges GOP: ‘Do Not Fold’

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Debt ceiling talks are on “pause,” Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.) said Friday, blasting the Biden Administration for making “unreasonable” requests for raising the federal borrowing limit—an alarming stall that comes as Congress has less than two weeks to lift the debt ceiling or risk an economic meltdown.

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Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks to reporters following a bicameral news conference with Senate and House Republicans outside the U.S. Capitol Building on Wednesday, May 17, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images) Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Key Facts

“It’s time to press pause, because it’s just not productive,” Graves, a top Republican negotiator, told reporters.

Graves, who was appointed earlier this week by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to manage negotiations with the White House on behalf of the GOP, made the comments following an hour-long meeting with President Joe Biden’s team on Friday.

McCarthy confirmed the negotiations had again reached an impasse Friday, telling reporters “we don’t have any movement yet,” while attributing the stalemate to the White House’s refusal to cut federal spending, one of the demands the GOP has made in exchange for raising the $31.4 trillion borrowing limit.

The statements mark a reverse course from McCarthy’s expressions of optimism just a day earlier, when he said he sees a “path that we could come through,” though he reiterated the two sides “haven’t agreed on anything yet.”

McCarthy also said Thursday he hoped to reach an agreement by this weekend and pass a new debt ceiling bill through the House next week ahead of a June 1 deadline Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen set for when the federal government could run out of cash and be unable to pay its bills.

Former President Donald Trump almost immediately weighed in following Graves’ statement, urging Republicans not to make a deal “unless they get everything they want,” he wrote on Truth Social, adding “do not fold!!!”

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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