President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy are wrangling over how to pay the nation's bills. In their first Oval Office meeting on Wednesday, the two spent about an hour discussing the $31 trillion debt ceiling.
The government hit the ceiling about two weeks ago and can't borrow more money until Congress votes to raise it.
McCarthy wants a promise to cut spending first, while the president says there shouldn't be any haggling when it comes to meeting the government's obligations.
"I will not let anyone use the full faith and credit of the United States as a bargaining chip. In the United States of America we pay our debts," Biden said.
McCarthy says he's not proposing any cuts to Medicare or Social Security, but something must be done to address the stunningly high U.S. national debt.
McCarthy said, "I've been very clear, the current path we are on we cannot sustain. We've got to change the trajectory to put ourselves on a path to balance. How we get there will be our discussions."
The speaker later said he had a good meeting with the president and he's confident they can find common ground.
America is currently $31.5 trillion in debt.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen tells Congress the only way for America to keep paying off the interest on its debts is to incur even more debt. She and Biden are demanding that Congress raise the debt ceiling.
But McCarthy told CBS News on Sunday, “I don’t think there’s anyone in America who doesn’t agree that there’s some wasteful Washington spending that we can eliminate.”
READ US Debt Spirals to Record $31 Trillion Mark, Spiking $8 Trillion in 2 Years: 'You Will Pay the Price'
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