Treasury Official Insists Biden ‘Didn’t Wait’ To Negotiate As Debt Default Nears

A senior Treasury Department official has refused to acknowledge that President Joe Biden did not negotiate the debt limit until the imminent threat of an historic default was present.

CNN anchor Dan Bash asked Wally Adeyemo, Treasury Deputy Secretary, about the issue Sunday, just weeks before what could be a government default unprecedented.

Bash asked: “If default was so imminent, why did President Obama wait until this month before negotiating real spending cuts and how they would be implemented to avoid default?”

Adeyemo brushed aside the premise in the question.


He said that Biden had “not waited” as he presented a budget for March, which would reduce the debt of the United States by almost $3 trillion in the next decade. Adeyemo pointed out that Republicans had passed their plan the month after, and Biden invited congressional leaders to talk about “fiscal policies.”

Last week, Congressional leaders met Biden at the White House but were unable to reach an agreement. Adeyemo said that a second planned meeting on Friday had been postponed. He also stated that Biden “made it clear” that he did not believe invoking 14th Amendment as a way to bypass Congress would “solve” our current problems.

Biden and Democrats are pushing for a “clean bill” to raise the debt limit above the current limit, which is approximately $31.4 trillion. This stance has set them up to clash with Republicans that want to talk about concessions regarding spending cuts.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-CA, tweeted on Friday: “It is clear that the only way to responsibly raise the debt limit is to limit reckless expenditure and get inflation under controlled.”

Adeyemo stated that as the talks progress, “there is no reason why we shouldn’t increase the debt limit to prevent default in this nation, a default which could lead us into a massive depression that would cost millions of jobs,”

The Congressional Budget Office warns that time is running out as there is a “significant risk” the government will not be able pay off all its debts if the limit is left unchanged despite the “extraordinary” measures taken by the Treasury Department.

Adeyemo reiterated his belief that the president believes that raising the debt ceiling and negotiating fiscal policy should be treated as separate issues.