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When President Joe Biden sits down with the top congressional leaders on Tuesday, he will see some familiar faces: Mitch McConnell, Chuck Schumer, and Kevin McCarthy, with whom he’s engaged in a high-stakes standoff.
The fourth principal, Hakeem Jeffries, is a different story.
The House minority leader is not a longtime collaborator with the president. In fact, he has a largely undefined relationship with Biden. He has been something of a side player in the debt ceiling drama that is quickly approaching a fiscal doomsday cliff. And the White House — sticking to a no-negotiation on the debt ceiling posture — has had little need to lean on him.