US president Joe Biden and House Republican speaker Kevin McCarthy have held a “productive” phone call on the continued impasse over the debt ceiling and promised to meet on Monday after Biden returned to Washington.McCarthy, speaking to reporters after the call, said there were positive discussions on solving the crisis and that staff-level talks were set to resume later on Sunday.Asked if he was more hopeful after talking to the president, McCarthy said: “Our teams are talking today and we’re … meeting tomorrow.
That’s better than it was earlier. So, yes.”Biden, who arrived back at the White House late on Sunday evening after his trip to Japan, said the call with McCarthy had gone well. “We’ll talk tomorrow,” he said.Speaking from the G7 summit in Japan on Sunday, Biden said he would be willing to cut spending together with tax adjustments to reach a deal, but the latest offer from Republicans on the ceiling was “unacceptable.”Less than two weeks remain until the 1 June deadline, upon which the Treasury department has said the federal government could be unable to pay all its debts.Without raising the debt limit, the US government will default on its bills, a historic first, with likely catastrophic consequences.
Federal workers would be furloughed, global stock markets would crash and the US economy would probably drop into a recession.McCarthy’s comments on Sunday struck a more positive tone than the heated rhetoric of recent days which has seen talks stall.“Much of what they’ve already proposed is simply, quite frankly, unacceptable,” Biden told a news conference in Hiroshima. “It’s time for Republicans to accept that there is no bipartisan deal to be made solely, solely on their partisan terms.Read more on theguardian.com