Debt limit deal near, sources say

Debt limit negotiators appear to be closing in on deal, sources say


President Biden told reporters Friday he hopes they will have evidence by the end of the night of a debt ceiling deal between White House negotiators and House Republicans. 

“With regard to the debt limit, things are looking good,” the president told reporters on the White House South Lawn. “I’m very optimistic. I hope we’ll have some clearer evidence tonight before the clock strikes 12 that we have a deal. But it’s very close, and I’m optimistic.”

Asked to repeat himself over the roar of Marine One, the president said he’s “hopeful we’ll know by tonight whether we’re going to be able to have a deal.” 

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s negotiating team, and the White House’s negotiating team, have been meeting virtually and in person for days, trying to hammer out disagreements between the parties. 

Shortly before the president spoke, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen shifted the estimated “X” date — which marks when the U.S. will begin to be unable to pay its bills — to June 5. 

“The secretary’s letters to Congress since January have estimated that Treasury would have insufficient resources to satisfy the government’s obligations in early June and, with the benefit of additional data on outlays and receipts, the Treasury Department is now able to make a more specific estimate of June 5,” Lael Brainard, director of the National Economic Council, said in a statement Friday evening. “Negotiators have made progress toward a reasonable, bipartisan budget agreement in recent days, and the secretary’s letter underscores the urgent need for Congress to act swiftly to prevent default.”

The risk of default continues even in the event of a deal, with time running short. Many congressional members are out of town for the Memorial Day holiday, and it will take time to pass legislation through both chambers. 

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