While the decision to delay the meeting was viewed as a positive development that could allow both sides to reach consensus, it remains unclear whether an agreement can be reached in time. Mr. McCarthy has insisted on deep spending cuts and a rollback of Mr. Biden’s clean energy agenda as a prerequisite to raising the debt limit. The president has insisted that Republicans raise the borrowing cap, arguing that it simply allows the United States to pay bills that Congress has already approved.
Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, said on Friday that the meeting was delayed so that the administration and congressional staff could continue their private discussions over a plan to raise the debt limit. While the White House continued to insist that raising it is not negotiable, she said, the president was willing to discuss other spending and budget matters with Republicans.
“The meetings have been productive over the last few days,” Ms. Jean-Pierre said, adding that there was “a lot of urgency” to find a solution that prevents a default.
The nation’s long-term fiscal outlook continues to be problematic and could only harden the Republican position that the government must rein in spending. In a separate report released on Friday, the Congressional Budget Office said it projected a federal budget deficit of $1.5 trillion this year — slightly higher than its forecast in February. Annual deficits are projected to nearly double over the next decade, totaling more than $20 trillion through 2033.