McCarthy and Biden discuss the debt ceiling while exchanging jabs.

Sherif Saad

WASHINGTON — the disparities between the White House and the Republicans in charge of the House in the days before the meeting have come to light.

Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Biden will have a high-stakes talk about the need to increase the country's borrowing ceiling to prevent a financial disaster on Wednesday at the White House.

The two leaders will meet for the first time since the Republicans took over the House and appointed Mr. McCarthy as speaker following a long dispute. It started just after 3 p.m., according to White House officials.

Republicans won't lift the debt ceiling until Vice President Biden agrees to significant cutbacks in government spending. The president has stated time and time again that he would not discuss terms for an increase and that he expects Congress to extend the borrowing limit unconditionally.

The afternoon meeting is private, but the days leading up to it made clear the divisions between the White House and the Republicans, who are in charge of the House at the moment.

After a private meeting with his conference on Wednesday morning, Mr. McCarthy told reporters, "I'm not here to play political games."

"We have five months to deal with the debt ceiling maturely and responsibly," Mr. McCarthy said. "We need to get down calmly and work together to agree." In my opinion, nobody in America thinks that there aren't any opportunities to cut back on our expenditures.

On Tuesday, Mr. Biden and Mr. McCarthy laid the blame for the failure to raise the debt ceiling squarely at each other's feet. The speaker was referred to by the president as a "good man" who had given in to party fanatics to seize control.

According to Mr. Biden, he made "commitments that are simply utterly off the wall for a speaker of the House to make."

In a press conference on Wednesday, Jerome H. Powell, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, cautioned that if Congress does not consent to raise the ceiling, the nation's central bank will be unable to avert an economic calamity.

There is only one way out of this situation, according to Mr. Powell, and that is for Congress to lift the debt ceiling so that the US government can pay all of its debts.

Any departures from that course, he continued, "would be exceedingly dangerous" for the economy. To make sure that the United States can continue paying its debts, including interest payments to creditors, the Treasury Department is using a variety of "exceptional measures."

But eventually, the nation will have to take out new loans to pay its debts. The country has a budget deficit, which means it spends more than it takes in, and it takes out large loans to pay for everything from Social Security payouts to military pay.

If lawmakers do not increase the cap before the government loses the ability to pay all of its debts at once, which may happen as soon as June, economists have widely warned of an economic catastrophe.

The United States would be forced into default if it was unable to borrow more money, making it impossible for it to fulfill several financial commitments, including paying bondholders.

The Republicans want to engage Mr. Biden in a discussion about taxes, spending, debt, and the size of the federal government by threatening him with those repercussions.

Both parties have made an effort to frame the conversation favorably. Republicans have criticized Democrats for out-of-control spending and cited the stimulus package that Vice President Biden signed into law as evidence.

Although price hikes have now subsided, they attribute the high inflation of the previous year to that expenditure. Republican senators claim that the present amount of government debt is unsustainable and might threaten economic expansion.

Mr. Biden has often stated his willingness to cut deficits by boosting taxes on companies and the wealthy, actions that Republicans reject.

The president and his advisers have attempted to persuade Republicans to identify particular areas of the federal budget they want to slash, banking that any ideas that touch on well-liked programs like public health care, education, and retirement expenditures will be met with opposition from voters.

Director of the National Economic Council Brian Deese and Director of the Office of Management and Budget Shalanda Young said in a note on Tuesday that "any serious discussion regarding economic and fiscal policy has to start with a clear grasp of the participants' goals and ideas."

The president must sit down and engage with Mr. McCarthy in good faith, according to moderate Republicans and Democrats who said on Wednesday that they would not support Mr. Biden's policy on political grounds.

In a letter written to Mr. McCarthy and Mr. Biden on Wednesday, six Democrats, including Rep. Jared Golden of Maine, urged both men to engage in "good faith discussions that avoid the ideological standoffs of the past."

Additionally, Republican New York Representative Mike Lawler cautioned in an interview that Mr. Biden's attempts to sidestep Mr. McCarthy in favor of brokering a deal with the party's centrists would be fruitless.

One of the 18 Republicans who represent Mr. Biden's winning congressional districts, Mr. Lawler, said, "The White House needs to accept that there is no longer one-party rule."

"They need to negotiate in good faith, and they can't simply go to me and my colleagues in these Biden districts to go around the speaker." The speaker did not outline particular areas where Republicans may attempt to cut spending, according to Nebraska Representative Don Bacon, who was present at the discussion with Mr. McCarthy on Wednesday. However, the speaker did restate his desire to negotiate "in good faith" with Mr. Biden.

One of the conference's most outspoken centrists, Mr. Bacon, summarised the atmosphere of the gathering by saying, "We realize that we've got to make a settlement." Negotiate the finest possible agreement, and then we'll need to support it.

These informational briefings and discussions, which Mr. McCarthy referred to as "listening sessions," were a crucial component of his strategy in 2011, when he had to convince staunchly conservative lawmakers who had been swept into office by the Tea Party movement to vote to raise the debt ceiling.

Mr. McCarthy, who was the majority whip at the time, gently prodded holdouts in his Capitol office to list concessions from the Obama administration that would be significant enough to allow them to vote in favor of a debt ceiling agreement.

The Republicans' meeting on Wednesday is also part of Mr. McCarthy's attempt to coax his unruly caucus closer before the talks with the White House.

The action may shield Mr. McCarthy from the mistrust that dogged Ohio Republican Speaker John A. Boehner during the 2011 debt limit crisis.

Hard-right Republicans who were wary of the establishment-styled speaker were worried during the negotiations between Mr. Boehner and President Barack Obama that they would secretly shake hands on an agreement that compromised conservative principles. Mr. McCarthy is attempting the other strategy.

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