GOP and White House talks continue as deadline approaches

Negotiators are meeting at the White HouseBiden’s press secretary said a meeting between negotiators for the administration and House Republicans that began at noon was still underway. The two sides are meeting in the Office of Management and Budget at the White House after days of talks on Capitol Hill have yet to yield a deal.Karine Jean-Pierre characterized the meetings as “productive,” but declined to say when Biden and McCarthy would next speak, saying this would happen “when the time is right.” “We are going to give the negotiators some time,” she added.White House accuses congressional Republicans of holding Americans ‘hostage’ in debt ceiling debateThe White House hit out at Republican negotiators, accusing them of holding middle class jobs “hostage” and “caving” to the most conservative members of the Republican caucus, in a memo released this afternoon.Andrew Bates, a White House spokesperson, criticized House Republicans, who he said were “threatening to actively harm their own constituents unless extreme demands are met.”Bates pointed to a quote from hardliner Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz, who when asked about the mood of conservative members, told Semafor that they “don’t feel like we should negotiate with our hostage.””House Republicans need to be called out for the vicious threat they are making to sabotage America, and to put down the gun they’re holding to the head of middle class jobs,” the White House memo said. “Then they need to face reality and work across the aisle on a reasonable budget agreement.”The memo argued that Republican negotiators were refusing to compromise on broadly popular policies, like strengthening Medicare’s ability to lower prescription drug costs. Bates said the Biden administration was not making demands beyond raising the debt ceiling.Poll: Majority think debt ceiling shouldn’t be tied to spending negotiationsA new poll from Monmouth University found that a majority of Americans do not think the debt ceiling should be tied to negotiations about federal spending.Just 1 in 4, the poll found, support tying the debt ceiling to economic spending.Biden had insisted his administration would not negotiate over the debt ceiling. But after the deadline was set for June 1, his administration began negotiating on federal spending — a process officials insisted was happening “parallel” to lifting the debt ceiling. House Democratic angst grows as Biden’s debt limit negotiations with GOP drag on House Democratic anxieties are flaring over Biden’s negotiations with Republicans to avert default.Some Democrats fear his limited public statements on the debt ceiling amount to ceding the messaging war to McCarthy and his deputies, who have been ubiquitous in recent days in casting blame on the White House. Other Democrats say Biden is wrong to discredit the 14th Amendment option to tackle the debt limit unilaterally, as the GOP engages in what Democrats see as a hostage standoff.Ultimately, their angst is about whom the public will blame if a deal can’t be reached, or if the terms of any agreement are draconian. Without a more aggressive effort to talk to the public, Democrats worry that voters will focus their anger on Biden — and them.One House Democratic lawmaker said the White House needs to do a better job harnessing “the levers of communication of the presidency, which they haven’t effectively utilized up to this point.”Read the full story. McCarthy says sides still “far apart” on a number of places in negotiationsMcCarthy reiterated that there are still a number of places where both sides are “far apart” on negotiations. The remarks came as he announced that he is sending GOP negotiators to the White House today.”There’s a number of places that we’re still far apart,” he said. “I mean, it didn’t seem like it’d be this hard.”McCarthy added that he thinks “we can make progress today.”Republican negotiators head to the White HouseKyle Stewart and Alexandra BacallaoRepublican debt ceiling negotiators Rep. Garret Graves, R-La., and Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., departed the Capitol just before noon for their meeting with White House negotiators. “They invited us, we answered the invitation,” McHenry said. Asked if this meeting is a hopeful sign, he paused and then said, “Not yet.” “Look the deal is, is that we’ve been working all night trying to look at things differently, trying to come up with new ideas,” Graves said. “We recognize the urgency here.” McHenry addressed the fundamental issues at play: “It’s spending, it’s work requirements, it’s two sticking points they are doggedly resisting some reasonable set of, set of outcomes.” GOP negotiators expected to attend talks at White HouseKristen Welker and Megan LebowitzRepublican negotiators will go to the White House for debt talks today, according to a source familiar with the negotiations. The meeting was expected to start at noon.Neither Biden nor McCarthy are expected to attend.The meeting comes after negotiators disbanded at 1 p.m. yesterday. Today, a Democratic official familiar with the talks characterized the negotiations as hitting a “speed bump.”Debt limit negotiations hit ‘speed bump,’ Democratic official says Negotiations over how to address the debt limit to avoid a catastrophic default have hit a “speed bump,” a Democratic official familiar with the talks told NBC News today.After days of citing “productive” negotiations, the tone in Washington appeared to shift yesterday after the negotiators disbanded at 1 p.m. ET with no plans for further talks or meetings between the leaders.The Democratic official argued that Biden has “negotiated in good faith” on the nation’s budget but said that McCarthy has “bowed to MAGA extremists who want no compromise.” The source said far-right House Republicans are pressuring McCarthy not to budge.Read the full story.

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