By Jeff Mason
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House is asking business leaders to meet with U.S. Joe Biden on Wednesday about the need to raise the U.S. debt ceiling, according to a person familiar with the plan.
The proposed meeting is part of a broader White House strategy to pressure Republicans to vote to increase the debt limit or to allow Democrats in Biden to raise it, without resorting to procedural hurdles.
The Treasury Department estimates that as of Oct. 18, Congress is at risk of violating the government’s .4 28.4 trillion limit, which could have potentially catastrophic consequences for the world’s largest economy.
Meetings with business leaders could mean that corporate executives want to avoid war chaos over debt limits and put pressure on top Republican leaders such as U.S. Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell.
Republicans in Congress favor policies that are considered business-friendly.
It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a leading business lobbying group, has pressured Congress to raise its threshold and warned that default is not an option.
Democrats control both the House of Representatives and the Senate with a slim majority. But Republicans, citing the political belief that Biden’s party is out of control, have refused to vote in favor of the increase.
The White House has argued that both sides have supported raising the Republican limit in the past, including during Republican President Donald Trump’s tenure, when most of the debt under the increase was earned.
Biden and his allies have recently used remarkably sharp rhetoric, accusing Republicans of voting directly to allow the United States to default.
(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Heather Timmons and Bill Barcrott)