Speaker Kevin McCarthy said he and President Joe Biden on Monday had the best meeting on how to lift the statutory debt limit but “nothing was agreed upon” in the negotiations.
McCarthy, who was accompanied to the White House by two of his top aides and Rep. Patrick T. McHenry, RN.C., said the negotiators were able to better explain to each other the policies they were fighting or opposed, and they all agreed on the need to quickly secure a deal. The meeting lasted just over an hour.
“I think the tone tonight is better than any other time we’ve had discussions,” the California Republican said. “I felt it was fruitful … I think we were able to focus on areas of difference.”
The main disagreements in the negotiations are spending limits for fiscal 2024 and beyond and work requirements for low-income benefits such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
McCarthy said things remain unresolved and that other issues discussed, such as improving permitting regulations, have also not been resolved. He later told reporters at the Capitol that Rep. Garret Graves, R-La., another leading negotiator for the GOP side, is an expert on the issue of permitting energy infrastructure, and that whatever is not agreed on the debt limit package. may move separately later.