Updated May 15, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Biden expects to resume debt ceiling talks with GOP leaders Tuesday

President Joe Biden (R) meets with US Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, on May 9, 2023.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Biden in the Oval Office of the White Houseon May 9. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Sunday he's optimistic of reaching a debt ceiling agreement with Republicans and avoiding an unprecedented default.

Driving the news: Biden told reporters in Delaware he expects to resume talks with congressional leaders on Tuesday and that he plans to leave as scheduled for the G7 summit in Japan one day later, per a pool report.

State of play: Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) agreed to postpone a meeting on the matter scheduled for Friday to give aides more time to talk, as the U.S. faces the threat of hitting the debt ceiling as early as June 1.

  • Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo told CNN Sunday that "conversations are constructive between all the parties."

What they're saying: "I remain optimistic because I am a congenital optimist," Biden said, according to the pool report.

  • "But I really think there is a desire on their part as well as ours to reach an agreement. And I think we’ll be able to do it."
  • Representatives for McCarthy did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

But, but, but: McCarthy offered a less optimistic assessment of the situation on Monday, telling reporters in the Capitol that the two sides remain "far apart" in negotiations.

  • "It doesn't seem to me yet they want a deal, it just seems like they want to look like they are in a meeting but they aren't talking anything serious," he said.
  • McCarthy added that a deal would need to be done by this weekend in order to have time to have enough time to pass it through Congress.

Go deeper: Senate conservatives break with Trump’s debt ceiling comments

Editor's note: This story has been updated with comments from McCarthy.

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