What each congressional leader wants out of the big Biden meeting — and what they’ll likely get


Expectations that Congressional leaders and President Joe Biden might strike a deal on Tuesday to raise the nation’s debt limit are low.

Just how low are they? One top leadership aide told POLITICO that not only do they not expect much tangible movement today on closing the negotiating gap between Biden and Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), but they’re hoping the meeting won’t “devolve” into raised voices in the Oval Office.

Positions are so entrenched at this point, with Democrats insisting that only a clean debt ceiling increase will do and Republicans conditioning an increase on spending cuts, that the two parties will arrive at the White House for Tuesday afternoon’s meeting with almost entirely different premises. And the clock is ticking: The Bipartisan Policy Center, a think tank that specializes in projecting the X-date at which the federal government will no longer be able to pay its bills without further borrowing, said Tuesday that the U.S. could default, in a worst case scenario, as soon as early June.