Debt ceiling: No word on when negotiators will meet next

(CNN) A meeting between top debt ceiling negotiators from the White House and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s office ended Friday night.

breakdown in Debt limit talk On Capitol Hill, multiple sources told CNN that earlier discussions had hit a snag, prompting a pause. regression It shattered any hope that a deal could be reached Basically on the weekend.

“At the direction of the Speaker of the House, we re-engaged and had a very, very honest discussion about where we are, where things should be, what’s fair, what’s acceptable,” Louisiana Rep. Garrett Graves. The top negotiator for the House Republicans told reporters at a reconvening briefing late Friday.

Graves or North Carolina Republican Rep. Patrick McHenry doesn’t seem optimistic that the situation is close to a deal.

“This is not a negotiation tonight, this is an honest discussion about realistic numbers, a realistic path forward, and really changing the trajectory of this country’s spending and debt problems,” Graves said.

Steve Ricchetti, an adviser to the president and one of the White House’s top negotiators, told reporters they were leaving the Capitol but “we’re going to work tonight.”

McCarthy told Fox Business on Friday evening that he was “very disappointed” with the White House’s stance.

GOP Rep. Dusty Johnson, a McCarthy ally and chairman of the centrist Main Street Caucus, told CNN that spending cuts are the biggest sticking point in the negotiations.

“We’re pretty far off the topline number,” Johnson said earlier Friday, referring to the level of discretionary spending for fiscal year 2024. “McCarthy holds the line. He knows where the Republican convention is. The White House doesn’t. Understand that Washington has a spending problem.”

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“The gap in topline numbers is not the only problem, but it is the biggest problem,” he added.

The South Dakota Republican said he thought a deal was still possible by the early June deadline, but “we’re in a bad position.” The president, he said, “has to decide whether he wants a deal or not.”

A stance on the U.S. debt ceiling remains a “preference item” of President Joe Biden Meetings at the G7 Summit in Japan, his national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said Friday. He said Biden was voicing confidence in conversations with his counterparts that negotiators would find a way to avoid default and catastrophic consequences for the global economy.

“Countries want to get a sense of how these talks are going to go. And part of the reason he’s coming home tomorrow is that he hopes we can drive a decision that avoids default,” the president said in Hiroshima. Sullivan said.

Updated by his team ahead of the presidents’ dinner, Biden received a series of updates on the ongoing negotiations in Washington.

Sources familiar with White House thinking acknowledged that one reason for the temporary breakdown in talks was that White House negotiators found the spending cuts unacceptable to Republicans, although the White House expressed a willingness to cut some spending. .

McCarthy confirmed on Friday that the talks had been suspended, citing insufficient “mobility” from the White House and bringing up the issue of spending cuts.

“We have to get motion by the White House. We don’t have any motion yet,” McCarthy told reporters on his way to the Capitol.

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He asked why Such a confident tone A day earlier, McCarthy said, “I felt like we were in a place where I could see the path. The White House is — we can’t spend more money next year. We have to spend less than the year before . . . It’s that easy.”

McCarthy said he had not spoken to the president and did not respond to questions about next steps.

The pause does not mean that talks have collapsed. High-stakes talks on Capitol Hill over the years have derailed or collapsed before negotiators got things back on track. But it underscores the challenges ahead of reaching a deal.

Time is of the essence and pressure is building to raise the borrowing limit ahead of June 1, which the Treasury Department says will keep the government from paying its bills. If America fails, it will trigger a global economic catastrophe.

Graves left a brief meeting with negotiators Friday morning, saying the situation was “not productive.” At the time, he said he wasn’t sure they would meet again this weekend.

“Until people are willing to have reasonable conversations about how you can actually move forward and do the right thing, we’re not going to sit here and talk to ourselves. That’s what’s happening,” Graves said.

As talks stalled, a White House official acknowledged “real differences” and “talks will be difficult” but said the president’s negotiating team was trying to reach a “reasonable bipartisan settlement.”

This topic and story has been updated with additional improvements.

CNN’s Phil Mattingly, Lauren Fox, Phil Mattingly, Jeremy Diamond and Arlette Saenz contributed to this report.

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