House Democrats Attempt To Bypass Debt-Ceiling Negotiations

House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries said he is hopeful a bipartisan agreement can still be reached to avoid a default, as congressional leaders continue talks with the White House.

President Joe Biden, a Democrat, and Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy met on Tuesday at the White House along with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and Jeffries.

“Emerging from the White House meeting, I am hopeful that a real pathway exists to find an acceptable, bipartisan resolution that prevents a default,” Jeffries said in a statement. “However, given the impending June 1 deadline and urgency of the moment, it is important that all legislative options be pursued in the event that no agreement is reached.”

Representative Pete Aguilar, a member of House Democratic leadership, on Tuesday called the discharge petition maneuver a “break-the-glass” last-resort option for avoiding default if negotiations fail. A discharge petition requires signatures from a majority of House members.

(Reporting by Richard Cowan, Doina Chiacu and Susan Heavey; Editing by Will Dunham)

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