President Joe Biden sounded upbeat Wednesday as a divided Washington continued to work on achieving a bipartisan deal that raises the ceiling for federal borrowing and avoids a market-shaking default.
“I’m confident that we’ll get the agreement on the budget, and America will not default,” Biden said during a brief speech at the White House.
“We’re going to continue these discussions with congressional leaders in the coming days until we reach an agreement, and I’ll have more to say about that on Sunday,” the president also said, adding that he planned to hold a news conference on Sunday.
Biden’s remarks came shortly before his departure for a Group of Seven summit in Japan, and after both the president and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy sounded positive about their second debt-limit meeting, which took place Tuesday.
Biden said on Wednesday that is cutting his Asia trip short to be there for final negotiations and to be able to sign a deal. He promised to be “in constant contact” with his staff while he’s at the G-7 summit and “in close touch” with McCarthy and the other top U.S. lawmakers.
In addition, the president said he didn’t think the curtailing of the upcoming trip was a win for China.
“We’re still meeting. We still have four good allies,” he told reporters, referring to his plans to talk to members of the Quad — meaning the leaders of Australia, India, Japan and the U.S. — during the G-7 summit.
Biden said he plans to speak or meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping at some point, saying that will happen “whether it’s soon or not.”
Earlier Wednesday, McCarthy told CNBC, “I think at the end of the day we do not have a debt default.”
On Tuesday, the California Republican said the “structure of how we negotiate has improved,” because the president has appointed White House staff to talk with the speaker’s team, rather than involving all four top U.S. lawmakers.
Biden remarked on that development Wednesday.
“We narrowed the group to meet and hammer out our differences,” he said. “In fact, they met last night. They’re going to be meeting again today.”
traded higher Wednesday, as investors remained focused on the debt-ceiling talks.
MarketWatch’s Robert Schroeder contributed to this report.