McCarthy, R-Calif., and his new majority in the House have said they will push changes, such as overhauls to entitlement programs, in order for Congress to raise the debt limit. The promise revived the prospects of a major fiscal standoff like the one in summer 2011, which prompted the first downgrade on a portion of the federal government’s AAA bond rating by Standard & Poor's.
“President Biden: I accept your invitation to sit down and discuss a responsible debt ceiling increase to address irresponsible government spending,” McCarthy said on Twitter earlier Friday, after Jean-Pierre said at a briefing that she had no date to share about a meeting between Biden and the speaker.
On the Republican proposals, Jean-Pierre said Biden "looks forward to learning more about those plans.”
His treasury secretary, Janet Yellen, also urged lawmakers to act expeditiously on increasing the limit, saying the Treasury Department does not collect enough in taxes to cover the spending that Congress has authorized.
“It's utterly essential that Congress raise the debt ceiling, and this has been the position of every treasury secretary,” Yellen said told reporters while traveling in Africa. “I would just say that really we cannot negotiate over whether or not we’re going to honor our obligations.”
Associated Press writer Fatima Hussein in Dakar, Senegal, contributed to this report.