On Tuesday, after months of refusing to meet with top Republicans on the debt crisis, Biden finally sat down with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. The meeting took place in the Oval Office and brought back memories of the infamous meeting between President Trump and Nancy Pelosi in 2018. McCarthy’s solution to the national debt involves cutting spending in order to raise the debt ceiling. The proposed debt ceiling hike is popular among House Republicans and Democrats have failed to get any Republicans to flip their votes. For months, Biden has stubbornly refused a debt ceiling hike, citing an alleged long-time protocol of refusing hikes.
But House Republicans are now saying that Biden is getting nervous as the June deadline to solve the debt crisis draws near. According to Axios:
“[T]hey’re negotiating now and they weren’t doing it before,” House Rules Committee chair Tom Cole told Axios.
“Washington insiders continue to bet against Kevin McCarthy and they continue to be on the wrong side of that bet,” Rep. Lance Gooden (R-Texas) told Axios.
Biden is now ready to make deals with McCarthy and that is why he brought him to the White House on Tuesday night. The White House still insists the president will solve the problem his way but insiders now see things as a one-track negotiation. White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates attempted to save face, saying:
“We’re having a separate discussion on budget and spending priorities, in good faith.”
Some believe that since Biden is conceding to McCarthy than the House Speaker may be willing to hand him concessions. For instance, he could offer to lift the debt ceiling in 2025, after the presidential election.