A top GOP lawmaker negotiating a debt ceiling compromise with the White House on Friday said the talks were on “pause,” suggesting at least a temporary breakdown in the process as the clock ticks towards an imminent default.
Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.) emerged from a meeting with White House officials in the Capitol voicing frustration that the sides had not made more progress and accusing the Democrats of being the cause.
“We decided to press pause because it’s just not productive,” Graves told reporters, saying the White House negotiators are being “unreasonable right now.”
Graves’s comments mark a shift in tone from those delivered a day earlier by Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who had expressed optimism that the sides were making progress and an agreement was in reach.
McCarthy has warned that negotiators must come to an agreement on at least the broad parameters of a deal by this weekend if a bill is to have any chance of moving through both the House and Senate by June 1, the earliest date when the Treasury Department has warned of a default.
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