US debt ceiling issue may force Biden to cancel trip to Japan for G7 summit

A meeting scheduled for Friday between US President Joe Biden and congressional leaders over the federal government's debt ceiling has been postponed to next week.

Observers are wondering whether Biden will be able to make the trip to Japan for the Group of Seven summit that is set to begin in Hiroshima next Friday.

The Treasury Department has announced that the government could default on its debt as early as June 1, if the debt ceiling is not raised.

Congressional approval is necessary to lift the ceiling.
The Democratic president is calling for the debt ceiling to be raised, but Republican lawmakers are demanding massive spending cuts in exchange for an increase in the limit.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a Republican, told reporters on Thursday that the meeting between Biden and congressional leaders scheduled for Friday would be postponed.

McCarthy said not enough progress had been made for the leaders to get back together. At the meeting, the lawmakers intended to follow up on a conference that was held on Tuesday. The aim of that conference was to try to avoid the risk of a default.

Biden has hinted that he may have to attend the G7 summit virtually, instead of traveling to Hiroshima.

Principal Deputy Spokesperson for the State Department Vedant Patel said on Thursday that he believes the president's plan to visit Japan is still on. He said the US government is continuing to engage with its Japanese partners ahead of the upcoming summit.