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Biden, McCarthy appear close to a debt deal

STORY: BIDEN: "Speaker McCarthy and I have several productive conversations..."

U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday said he and top congressional Republican Kevin McCarthy were closer to a deal to cut spending and raise the government's $31.4 trillion debt ceiling, with little time to spare to head off default that could devastate the economy.

The Treasury Department has warned that the federal government could run short of money to cover some of its bills by June 1.

Speaking at a White House event, the Democratic President said Republicans are pushing for steep cuts that would increase wait times for Social Security claims and decrease the number of teachers, police and border patrol agents.


"I don't believe the whole burden should fall back to middle class and working class Americans. My House Republican friends disagree."

A deal would only set broad spending outlines, leaving lawmakers to fill in the blanks in the weeks and months to come.

Any agreement will still have to pass the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and the Democratic-controlled Senate. That could prove a challenge, as some right-wing Republicans and many liberal Democrats said they were unhappy with the prospect of compromise.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre:

"We know this vote will require, again, Democrats and Republican votes, which means that when you negotiate, when these negotiations happen, both sides have to understand that neither side is going to get everything they want."

A U.S. default could upend global financial markets, push the U.S. into recession....

And according to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley - threaten national security.

"I think there's no doubt whatsoever that there would be a very significant negative impact on the readiness, morale and capabilities of the United States military if we defaulted // "I think it would be very, very significant without a doubt in that absolutely clear, unambiguous implications on national security."

Even as negotiations continue, McCarthy prepared to let lawmakers leave Washington for a week-long holiday recess, but said they would return if needed for a vote.