Biden says Republican proposal on debt ceiling 'unacceptable'

US President Joe Biden and the opposition Republican Party remain apart in negotiations on the government debt ceiling. Biden says the Republican proposal is "unacceptable."

Biden's Democratic administration wants to raise the limit on the amount of funds the United States government can borrow. Republicans say they will sign off on that only if Democrats agree to make large-scale spending cuts.

Biden spoke at a news conference on Sunday after the closing of the Group of Seven summit in the Japanese city of Hiroshima.

Biden said the Democrats have put forward a proposal that cuts spending by more than 1 trillion dollars on top of the previously proposed nearly 3 trillion dollars in fiscal deficit reduction.

But he said the Republicans' proposal "protects wealthy tax cheats and crypto traders" while putting food assistance at risk for nearly 1 million Americans.

US media outlets reported the Republicans are proposing tighter conditions for medical insurance and food assistance for low-income people.

Biden said it was time for the Republicans to move from their "extreme positions." He went on to say, "much of what they've already proposed is simply, quite frankly, unacceptable."

The president also said all four congressional leaders agree that default is not an option. He said, "America has never defaulted -- never defaulted on our debt, and it never will."

Multiple media outlets reported that Biden and Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy spoke over the phone as Biden was returning to Washington after the summit. They reported that Biden and McCarthy will meet directly on Monday afternoon.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in an interview with NBC News on Sunday said her assessment has not changed that the US government will be unable to pay all their bills as soon as June 1. She said, "if the debt ceiling isn't raised, there will be hard choices to make."

Asked whether the country could extend the deadline until June 15 when there will be more tax revenues, Yellen said the odds are "quite low."