US: June 1 ‘hard deadline’ to raise debt ceiling, says Yellen


June 1 remains a “hard deadline” for raising the US debt ceiling, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Sunday, warning that unless the standoff with Republicans in Congress is resolved, the government would be unable to pay its bills through the middle of next month.

The Treasury Department says the government could run out of money and default on its $31 trillion debt as early as June 1 if Congress, where Republicans control the House of Representatives, does not authorise more borrowing.

“We expect to be unable to pay all of our bills in early June, and possibly as soon as June 1st,” Yellen said on NBC’s Meet the Press. “I think that that’s a hard deadline.”

The White House and Republican legislators have been locked in tense negotiations for weeks, with the increasingly hard-right Republican party demanding heavy spending cuts in exchange for raising the debt limit.

A default, the first in US history, would trigger devastating consequences for the global economy, including, the White House says, a US recession.

President Joe Biden has refused to yield to Republican demands, accusing his opponents of putting the US economy at risk for political point scoring.

In the latest spat, on Sunday he slammed Republican demands as “unacceptable” but said a solution can still be found before a default.


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Biden had planned to travel from Japan to Papua New Guinea and Australia but cut short the Asia trip due to the debt talks.

Biden was to speak to House speaker Kevin McCarthy Sunday from Air Force One on his way back from the G7 summit in Japan.