President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy are set to engage in a conversation on Monday as negotiations over the debt ceiling and budget continue.

The staff-level discussions between the White House and congressional Republicans will resume following a phone call between Biden and McCarthy earlier in the day. The California Republican described the call as "productive" and expressed optimism regarding the upcoming meeting. While the exact timing of the meeting is yet to be determined, it is expected to take place on Monday afternoon and may not involve other congressional leaders.

Biden's warning earlier in the day highlighted the potential use of a national default by congressional Republicans to harm him politically. He acknowledged that the time for unilateral actions to raise the federal borrowing limit had run out as the deadline for an agreement approached. The president characterized the GOP proposals as "extreme" and expressed doubts about their ability to garner sufficient support in Congress. Biden emphasized the existence of significant disagreements with Republicans, noting his willingness to consider spending cuts but affirming that tax revenue should not be excluded from the discussion.

McCarthy, on the other hand, disagreed with Biden's characterization, stating that the president had previously claimed tax increases were off the table. He criticized Biden for introducing a previously discarded proposal and suggested that the president was more interested in assigning blame than reaching a deal. The divergent positions between the two parties remained apparent, with Biden describing much of the Republican proposals as unacceptable and emphasizing the need for them to move toward a compromise.

As talks continue, the blame game intensifies, with Biden suggesting that some House Republicans might be encouraging a default to hinder his chances of reelection. McCarthy, in response, attributed Biden's negotiating goals to the "socialist wing of the Democratic Party" and accused the president of changing positions in response to Bernie Sanders' press conferences. The ongoing negotiations reflect the sharp disagreements between the two sides and the challenges they face in reaching a bipartisan agreement on the debt ceiling and budget issues. Photo by Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, Wikimedia commons.