NewsNational NewsScripps News


Biden cuts Asia trip short as US debt ceiling negotiations heat up

The president was set to go to Asia later this week — a trip that should still happen, but will be cut short to meet with congressional leaders.
Biden cuts Asia trip short as US debt ceiling negotiations heat up
Posted at 2:35 PM, May 16, 2023

President Joe Biden and congressional leadership have started dialogue once again to try and come to an agreement on the looming debt ceiling decision which has intensified even more as the June 1 deadline quickly approaches. 

Scripps News confirmed, per a source familiar with the president's trip to Asia set to happen this week, that the president will depart Asia on Sunday to return to the U.S. for more debt limit talks with congressional leadership. 

Biden told reporters, "We’re just getting started."

Biden will still attend the Group of Seven Summit in Hiroshima, Japan, but the White House will cancel later stops in the region. Canceled stops included one in Papua New Guinea and another in Australia.

John Kirby, Coordinator for Strategic Communications and the National Security Council said Tuesday that the White House had been evaluating the rest of the trip as the debt limit deadline approached. 

"What's going on right now is we're hopping on Air Force One tomorrow and we're heading to Japan and we're going to have a good meeting at the G7. And, we're going to evaluate the rest of the trip and we'll see what happens. We'll see where things go," Kirby told reporters at the White House. 

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries said, "default is not an option."

Sen. Chuck Schumer told reporters that a debt limit agreement has never been reached with one party saying "We have to get it done my way," and said lawmakers and the president have to come together on something that "avoids default."

Sen. Schumer said the negotiations have been cordial so far and there has been bipartisan agreement in some areas. The senator said it was stressed that default cannot be an option. 

Sen. Mitch McConnell told reporters Tuesday, "We know we're not going to default, we know it, they know it."

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said, "You can't keep ignoring problems, you have to find solutions."

Trending stories at