Last week, President Joe Biden and the White House took intense criticism over his planned foreign trip while America faced an unprecedented debt ceiling crisis.
According to Breitbart, it looked like the message was at least partially received by those who decided our elderly president's schedule, as it was announced this week that the second leg of his trip around the world, which included stop in Papau New Guinea and Australia, have been canceled.
After attending the G-7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan, Biden was set to visit both nations.
The White House, which originally shied away from involving itself in the debt ceiling talks, is now making the issue a top priority, at least from a public relations perspective.
"NEWS: President Biden has officially cut short his trip and will return to the U.S. on Sunday after the G7 in Japan. He will not go to Papua New Guinea or Australia, per administration official, because of ongoing debt ceiling talks," Tyler Pager tweeted Tuesday.
NEWS: President Biden has officially cut short his trip and will return to the U.S. on Sunday after the G7 in Japan. He will not go to Papua New Guinea or Australia, per administration official, because of ongoing debt ceiling talks.
— Tyler Pager (@tylerpager) May 16, 2023
After months of refusing, Biden began talks about the debt ceiling with congressional leaders last week. Biden’s change of heart came after House Republicans rallied behind Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to support the Limit, Save, Grow Act, which would lift the debt ceiling through early next year and save the government an estimated $4.8 trillion over the next ten years.
While House Republicans want a piece of debt ceiling legislation with significant budget cuts, Democrats are advocating for a “clean” bill to raise the debt limit without any budget cuts.
Biden's sudden cancellation has also reportedly raised concerns among White House aides who say the two stops, which had strategic importance with regard to the Pacific, were important on a foreign policy front, and could cause a "blow" to progress made. Politico reported the concerns.
The stops in Australia and Papua New Guinea were meant to affirm the U.S. commitment to the Pacific as China’s influence in the region rises. Scrubbing those visits could be a blow to U.S. efforts in the Pacific, according to White House aides who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the situation.
Biden also spoke recently about the debt ceiling crisis after finally coming to the table to negotiate with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).
“There was an overwhelming consensus, I think in today’s meeting with congressional leaders, that defaulting on the debt is simply not an option. Our economy would fall into recession," Biden said on Tuesday.
McCarthy doubled down on Wednesday regarding his thoughts of how Biden and Democrats should handle the negotiations.
"After months of delay and wasted time from President Biden, negotiations are finally happening because Republicans are united behind a responsible debt limit increase. Now, he has 15 days to avoid being the first president to default on the national debt," McCarthy tweeted.
After months of delay and wasted time from President Biden, negotiations are finally happening because Republicans are united behind a responsible debt limit increase. Now, he has 15 days to avoid being the first president to default on the national debt. https://t.co/JpIntOhB9k
— Kevin McCarthy (@SpeakerMcCarthy) May 17, 2023
Only time will tell if the two sides come together on a deal. It's more likely to happen than not, many believe, given the fact that the Biden administration cannot afford another optics disaster on top of the rest it's facing, with terrible polling numbers on top of it all.