- by theguardian
- 21 Sep 2023
White House and House GOP negotiators are racing to finalize a deal to raise the nation's debt limit with time running perilously short and the risk of a first-ever US default growing.
There have been some signs that talks have progressed in recent days, and negotiators are hoping to announce an agreement as soon as Saturday, according to a person familiar with the matter.
A source with knowledge of the negotiations told CNN on Saturday that a provision to impose new work requirements for certain social safety net programs remains a final sticking point.
Republicans have been pushing this issue hard, saying beneficiaries of programs such as food stamps with no dependents should be forced to follow new rules. Democrats, however, have cast that idea as an attack on poor people.
It's unclear how the negotiators could come to an agreement, but the source told CNN the issue needs to be resolved before a deal can be reached.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy arrived at the US Capitol on Saturday morning after his top Republican negotiators, Reps. Garret Graves of Louisiana and Patrick McHenry of North Carolina, had worked late into the night drafting the final details of a deal from the speaker's office.
"I feel closer to an agreement now than I did a long time before, because I see progress. But listen, this is not easy in any shape or form. But that doesn't back us away from it," McCarthy told reporters.
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