President Biden will sit down in the White House on May 9 with the top-four leaders from Capitol Hill to begin discussions to prevent the U.S. government from default by exceeding its borrowing limit. The Treasury Department set a June 1 deadline for the debt-ceiling breach. However, most here in Washington, D.C. are skeptical that this is the actual deadline because the GOP accuses the White House of trying to force them to the table. 

Throughout March and April, many in the White House believed that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) could not muster the votes needed to pass a GOP proposal only to see the U.S. House move a Republican bill increasing the borrowing limit by a 217-215 vote. What is in that bill is not as important as Speaker McCarthy proving he can move difficult legislation through the lower chamber of Congress with only a four-vote majority.

The House is insisting on massive spending cuts as part of any deal, while the White House wants a “clean” debt-ceiling increase without funding reductions – neither will happen. In the past few days, an increasing number of lawmakers are calling for a temporary extension to prevent a default because, with talks just starting, a deal is still likely far off. Any deal that included spending reductions would likely be tied with legislation funding the federal government beyond the end of the September 30 fiscal year.

Now that Speaker McCarthy proved he can pass a bill, expect negotiations, and political posturing, to increase in the coming weeks.