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Debt ceiling: Biden calls congressional leaders and invites them to meet

Yellen: U.S. could default as early as June 1
Treasury Secretary: U.S. could default as early as June 1 04:00

President Biden called the four congressional leaders Monday afternoon and invited them to a May 9 meeting on the debt ceiling, according to three people familiar with the calls. 

The White House later announced in a statement that the invitation had been made: "This afternoon, President Biden called Speaker McCarthy, who is leading a CODEL in Israel, to invite him to a meeting at the White House on May 9 with Leader Jeffries, Leader Schumer, and Leader McConnell, who the President also called today."

According to a White House official, in his meeting with congressional leaders, Mr. Biden will stress that Congress must take action to avoid default without conditions. The president invited the four leaders to the White House to discuss the urgency of preventing default, the official said. And, at the same time, Mr. Biden plans to raise with them how a separate process might be initiated to address the budget and appropriations for the 2024 fiscal year.

The invitation comes as Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned the U.S. could default on its debt as soon as June 1, just a month away. The White House also confirmed the calls.

The White House has repeatedly insisted that it's up to Congress — and Republicans, who control the House — to avoid default, even as the House passed a bill last week to raise the debt limit and cut spending. That bill is unlikely to pass the Senate. 

It's not yet clear that the invitations have been accepted — or that May 9 is a firm date.

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