President Biden is slated to meet with the leaders of some of the nation's biggest banks at the White House on Wednesday to highlight the severe economic danger if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling before a mid-October deadline.
Several chief executives are expected to attend, including JPMorgan Chase's Jamie Dimon, Bank of America's Brian Moynihan, Citigroup's Jane Fraser, Raytheon's Greg Hayes and Intel's Pat Gelsinger, according to a White House official. Also invited were AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins, Nasdaq President and CEO Adena Friedman and Deloitte Global CEO Punit Renjen.
The meeting comes as the U.S. government careens toward its first-ever debt default, with Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill locked in a fierce stalemate with no plan to raise, or suspend, the debt limit before Oct. 18.
Biden is expected to discuss the urgent need for Congress to take immediate bipartisan action to address the debt limit and avoid a default, the White House official said. The president will stress that any delay on raising the debt ceiling could increase the risk of default, which would result in higher interest rates and home loans, car loans and credit cards.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will also be in attendance. She has told Congress the limit must be raised by Oct. 18 or the U.S. government will run out of cash to pay its bills when the Treasury exhausts the "extraordinary measures" that it began implementing over the summer.
"I do regard Oct. 18 as a deadline. It would be catastrophic to not pay the government’s bills, for us to be in a position where we lacked the resources to pay the government’s bills," Yellen said Tuesday during an interview on CNBC. "I fully expect it would cause a recession as well."
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is forcing a vote Wednesday on a measure passed by the House to suspend the legal debt limit until December 2022, but Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has pledged to block the effort – marking the third time Republicans will do such a thing.
"Let me be clear about the task ahead of us: we must get a bill to the president’s desk dealing with the debt limit by the end of the week. Period," Schumer, D-N.Y., wrote Monday in a letter to his Democratic colleagues.
With control of the White House as well as both chambers of Congress, Democrats are facing intensifying pressure to go at it alone and raise the ceiling using the procedural tool known as reconciliation, which allows them to bypass a filibuster by Senate Republicans.
"Why should we help facilitate their reckless spending and tax increases?" Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said this week. "If they’re going to do it, they need to do it by themselves."
FOX Business' Ed Lawrence contributed to this report.