Democratic Congressional leaders Chuck Schumer and Hakeem Jeffries emerged from the West Wing, gleaming with satisfaction, after their meeting with Kevin McCarthy, Mitch McConnell, and President Biden to address the impending default crisis.

“It was a good and productive meeting,” declared Senator Schumer. “We have agreed that default would be the worst outcome, a horrible situation for America and America’s families. But we also agreed that we need to pass a bipartisan bill with bipartisan support in both chambers,” added Schumer. “I asked Speaker McCarthy, does he agree with that? And he said, ‘Yes.’ This bill, of course, is not a bipartisan bill. And so the bottom line is that we all come to an agreement that we were going to continue discussions in the way that, I believe, Speaker McCarthy described, which was agreed to by all of us in the room, together, and hopefully we can come to an agreement.”

The New York Democrat acknowledged the pressing time constraints, stating,”We don’t have much time.” He emphasized that the only viable solution to avert default is the passage of a bipartisan bill in both chambers.

Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) echoed Senator Schumer’s sentiment, characterizing the meeting in the Oval Office as a positive step forward.

“It was an open, honest, but a very cordial discussion,” Jeffries affirmed. “We all agreed that the only path forward is to reach a bipartisan agreement, anchored in common ground. We all agree that default is not an acceptable option and must be avoided. And we all agree that over the next few weeks, we have to proceed with the fierce urgency of now in order to make sure we can reach that bipartisan common sense, common ground agreement—so that we can protect the health and safety and economic well-being of the American people.”

Senator Schumer interjected, underscoring the necessity of finding common ground. “We have to come to common ground, that’s the only way this is ever done. It is never gotten done with one party saying you have to do it my way. You have to get both parties, both houses together,” he asserted.

President Biden hosted Leader Schumer, Leader McConnell, Speaker McCarthy, and Leader Jeffries in the Oval Office [Photo: ©The White House/Twitter]

In response to a question posed by The Pavlovic Today Founder and White House Correspondent Ksenija Pavlovic McAteer regarding the Democratic leaders’ definition of “common ground,” as they navigate ongoing negotiations with Republicans to prevent a default, Senator Schumer elaborated on the specifics. They’ll “know it when we see it” said Schumer.

“What that means is that we will not sacrifice our values. They’re not, they’ll probably not sacrifice their values, but we’ll have to come together on something that can avoid default,” explained Schumer. “Default is a disaster. Full stop. And everyone understood that in the room.”

Leader Jeffries commended President Biden for his exceptional efforts in fostering unity, citing last week’s success in initiating constructive staff discussions. Jeffries outlined the dire consequences that default would entail, such as triggering a recession that devastates employment and crashing the stock market.

Jeffries pledged that the House Democrats will work with the “fierce urgency of now” over the next week or two to reach an agreement.

President Biden has yet to provide details on the format of the bipartisan negotiations, but according to The Pavlovic Today’s understanding, a few additional participants will be included in the ongoing discussions.


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Ksenija Pavlovic is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Pavlovic Today, The Chief White House Correspondent. Pavlovic was a Teaching Fellow and Doctoral Fellow in the Political Science department...

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