President Joe Biden will cut short his Asia-Pacific trip and fly home by the weeeknd to focus on talks with Congressional leaders to avert a US default over the debt ceiling crisis.
“President Biden will return to the United States on Sunday, following the completion of the G7 summit, in order to be back for meetings with Congressional leaders to ensure that Congress takes action by the deadline to avert default,” the White House said Tuesday.
After attending Group of Seven (G7) leaders’ summit in Hiroshima, Japan, Biden was scheduled to travel to Sydney to join leaders from India, Australia, and Japan for the Quad summit on May 24.
Biden was also planning to visit Papua New Guinea.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the President has cancelled both the trips due to the ongoing debt ceiling negotiations in Washington.
“The President spoke to Prime Minister Albanese earlier today to inform him that he will be postponing his trip to Australia. He also invited the Prime Minister for an official state visit at a time to be agreed by the teams. The President’s team engaged with the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea’s team to inform them as well,” Jean-Pierre said in a statement.
“The President has made clear that members of Congress from both parties and chambers must come together to prevent default, as they have 78 times before. The President and his team will continue to work with Congressional leadership to deliver a budget agreement that can reach the President’s desk,” she added.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden held emergency discusisons with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Senate Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell at the White House.
Biden said the talks were “good, productive”, whle Republican leaders expressed cautious optimism that an agreement to raise the U.S. debt ceiling is within sight.
If the debt ceiling is not raised, U.S. could enter a default on its $31.4 trillion debt by June 1, which could lead to global financial crisis.
Biden is set to depart Anchorage, Alaska, en route to Hiroshima, Japan, at 7:55 PM ET Wednesday.
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