Biden wants to attend G7 but debt limit talks at home more important
U.S. President Joe Biden is considering foregoing upcoming foreign trips, including potentially the upcoming G7 summit in Japan, if there is no solution to raising the national debt limit.
Asked by a reporter if he would stay in Washington during the G7 meeting because of the debt limit dispute at home, the president said on Tuesday evening the he was still committed to the trip, but the debt ceiling is “the single most important issue.”
However, if the default date fell during a time when he is supposed to be abroad, Biden said, “I would not go. I would stay till this gets finished.”
Biden said he wants to go, but the debt ceiling was “the single most important issue.”
The three-day G7 summit is scheduled to begin in Japan on May 19.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is warning of a possible government default as early as June 1.
Biden said he wants to visit the Pacific island state of Papua New Guinea after the G7 summit and then travel on to Australia for a meeting of the so-called Quad Alliance.
In the United States, Congress sets a debt ceiling at irregular intervals and determines how much money the government can borrow.
The debt ceiling has now been reached and the U.S. Treasury has to tap the capital reserves, since the U.S. is now no longer allowed to take on new debt to pay its bills.
To raise the debt ceiling, Biden and his Democrats need the Republicans in Congress.
However, the Republicans oppose an increase without significant cuts in government spending.