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Biden trip to Japan won't be interrupted by debt talks as deadline looms: White House

President Biden will leave as planned to Japan on Wednesday, despite questions swirling around whether he might postpone a weeklong international trip given the crunch time lawmakers and the White House are facing to come up with a deal to avoid a debt default.

“We are still planning to leave as scheduled on Wednesday,” national security spokesperson John Kirby told reporters on Monday. “He still expects to be able to make that trip, so we’re all planning on departing on Wednesday as scheduled.”

The president is slated to leave in the afternoon for the Group of Seven (G-7) meeting in Hiroshima, Japan, from May 19-21. He will then visit Papua New Guinea and then attend the Quad Leaders’ Summit in Sydney on May 24.

When asked whether he would cut the trip short and skip the latter half to return to Washington, Kirby said they are “planning to conduct this trip as scheduled.”

The president also told reporters this weekend his “plan as it stands now” is to leave Wednesday. He said at the time he is optimistic about talks and thinks there is a desire on both sides to reach an agreement. 

Biden and congressional leaders, including Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), are expected to meet again Tuesday after staffers huddled over the last few days to discuss possible solutions.

It comes up against the June 1 deadline the Treasury Department determined would be around the date the U.S. could default on trillions of dollars of debt that could cause havoc on the financial system.

McCarthy on Monday stressed that an agreement must be reached by the weekend for congressional lawmakers to have enough time to pass it. So far, both sides have yet to indicate they are any closer to an agreement than last week.

Source: The Hill

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