Biden Meets US Business Leaders Ahead of Debt Deadline

US President Joe Biden met Wednesday at the White House with some of America’s top business leaders to say Congress should increase the government’s borrowing authority before October 18, when the US expects to run out of funds to pay its bills.

The White House before the meeting said executives “well understand that defaulting on debt economically will destroy” America, which has never defaulted on its financial obligations, and the world economy.

Failure to repay debt would risk millions of jobs and plunge the US into recession, “causing long-term losses to the strength of the American economy by threatening the dollar’s status as the world’s main currency and lowering the US credit rating,” the White House said.

Among the company executives who met with Biden, some in person and some virtually, were chief banking executives Jane Fraser of Citi, Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase and Brian Moynihan of Bank of America. Others at the meeting included Greg Hayes, CEO of Raytheon Technologies, Adena Friedman, president and chief executive of the Nasdaq stock exchange, and Pat Gelsinger, chief executive of technology company Intel.

The White House faces a political stalemate with opposition Republicans in the Senate over how to increase government borrowing authority beyond the current $28.4 trillion level to a certain amount or to suspend any cap until December 2022, a month after next year’s landmark congressional election.

With Republicans and Democrats holding 50 seats each in the 100-member Senate, Republicans have so far refused to give up their ability to filibuster debt limit increases. This situation will cause the Democrats to need to secure 10 Republican votes to overcome the filibuster and bring the matter to the ballot. [my/ka]

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