Talks were reportedly close to conclusion on Friday afternoon on an outline deal to increase the US debt ceiling and avoid a disastrous and unprecedented default, with Wall Street and European shares rising as the White House and congressional Republicans worked on the final touches of a package to present to Congress.
US lawmakers are on call over the Memorial Day holiday weekend after leaving Washington without a deal and with deadline day to avoid the prospect of default, 1 June, just six days away.
House speaker Kevin McCarthy, a Republican, arrived at the US Capitol on Friday morning saying he “will work until we get it done”.
Democrats representing Joe Biden indicated the US president was willing to consider spending cuts, including to planned extra funding for the Internal Revenue Service, a target of rightwing attacks, the Washington Post reported.
Citing an anonymous US official, Reuters said the impending deal would raise the ceiling for two years “while capping spending on everything but military and veterans”.
On Thursday night McCarthy told reporters: “We’ve been talking to the White House all day, we’ve been going back and forth, and it’s not easy. It takes a while to make it happen, and we are working hard to make it happen.”
North Carolina congressman Patrick McHenry, a Republican negotiator, said: “I think there’s a sense of understanding from both teams that we have serious issues still to work out and come to terms with, and that’s going to take some time. That’s all there is to it.”
Any deal would have to pass the House and Senate, which typically takes days to complete.
The debt ceiling stands at $31.4tn. The treasury secretary, Janet Yellen, has said the US will cease to be able to pay its bills on orRead more on theguardian.com