President Joe Biden said a deal to resolve the government’s debt ceiling crisis seemed “very close” late Friday, even as the deadline for a potentially catastrophic default was pushed back to June 5 and seemed likely to drag negotiations between the White House and Republicans into another frustrating week.
The later “X-date,” laid out in a letter from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, set the risk of a devastating default four days beyond an earlier estimate. It came as Americans and the world uneasily watched the negotiating brinkmanship that could throw the U.S. economy into chaos and sap world confidence in the nation’s leadership.
Yet Biden was upbeat as he left for the Memorial Day weekend at Camp David, declaring, “It’s very close, and I’m optimistic.”
With Republicans at the Capitol talking with Biden’s team at the White House, the president said: “There’s a negotiation going on. I’m hopeful we’ll know by tonight whether we’re going to be able to have a deal.” But a deal had not come together by the time Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy left the Capitol late Friday.