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U.S. will not default, but Republicans won’t be to blame if it does, McCarthy says

WASHINGTON — The highest-ranking Republican on Capitol Hill says he’s confident the U.S. won’t go into default on its debt.

But Kevin McCarthy also says it won’t be his fault if it does.

The double-barrelled message from the speaker of the House of Representatives comes as the ominous countdown to the so-called “X-date” continues. 

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says the U.S. government could run out of money as soon as June 1 if Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling. 

Congressional negotiators are meeting again today with their White House counterparts in an effort to resolve the impasse. 

Experts say a U.S. default, even for a short time, would have deep and wide-ranging economic repercussions across the continent and around the world. 

“I don’t think there’ll be a default, and I don’t see how you would blame Republicans,” McCarthy told a news conference on Capitol Hill. 

Democrats, he said, have done nothing to prevent the standoff, even since February when McCarthy first indicated he wanted to see spending cuts before raising the debt limit. 

“They told us we shouldn’t talk. So, I’m sorry: if you want to blame Republicans for solving problems, we’ll take that blame.” 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 24, 2023.

The Canadian Press