Watch| ‘Shush up, ok?’: Joe Biden tells reporter at G7 as he calms fears about US debt limit crisis

By | Edited by Aniruddha Dhar
May 21, 2023 03:24 PM IST

The incident happened during a bilateral meeting between Joe Biden and Australia's Anthony Albanese on the sidelines of G7 Summit in Japan’s Hiroshima.

United States President Joe Biden seemed ‘irked' on Saturday after being interrupted by a reporter during an interaction on his country’s domestic debt ceiling negotiations. “Shush up, ok?” Biden told the reporter on being interjected as he was making a case for himself that he’s handled these talks before as well.

U.S. President Joe Biden during the G7 Summit at the Grand Prince Hotel in Hiroshima, Japan.(REUTERS)
U.S. President Joe Biden during the G7 Summit at the Grand Prince Hotel in Hiroshima, Japan.(REUTERS)

Biden's reaction followed during a bilateral meeting with his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese on the sidelines of the G7 Summit in Japan’s Hiroshima. On being asked about the debt talks at home, which appear deadlocked as the Republican lawmakers and the White House battle over spending cuts, the US president downplayed the impasse. “This (talks) goes in stages...I have been in these negotiations before,” he said, just as a reporter interrupted him for a query.

“Shush up, ok?” Biden responded, followed by a small chuckle after which he continued to explain the process.

Also Read| Biden to call House speaker McCarthy on debt ceiling after G7 summit: W. House

Also Read: Biden off to Japan for G-7 Summit, says ‘work to do on global stage’

What is the US debt ceiling crisis?

Simply put, the debt limit is the maximum amount of money that the US government can borrow to meet its financial obligations. The borrowing limit, now at $31 trillion, needs to be increased so the government can keep paying the nation’s bills. The deadlock between the White House and House Republicans raises concern over a potential federal default, which can have serious implications for the US economy and in turn for the world.

The point of contention is that the Republicans want deep cuts to non-defence spending, while insisting on increasing funding for the Pentagon. This can potentially impact domestic programs such as education and health, which the Democrats are opposing.

The White House has countered by keeping defence and non-defence spending flat next year, through which it aims to save $90 billion in fiscal 2024 and $1 trillion over 10 years, news agency AP reported.

While both parties blame each other for being ‘unreasonable’, the US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned the US could lose its ability to pay all its bills by June 1.

In a bid to clear the deal, Biden on Sunday directed his aides to fix a call with top Republican and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, after the latter accused the White House of backtracking in the negotiations. The threat of a debt default could trigger recession, however, Biden expressed confidence that the default could be avoided.

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    Trainee Content Producer at HT Digital. I read about feminism, late modern history, and globalisation of Korean music.

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