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Biden heads to New York to talk debt ceiling, raise funds for re-election


U.S. President Joe Biden speaks to reporters in the Roosevelt Room after holding debt limit talks with U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Democratic congressional leaders at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 9, 2023. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

U.S. President Joe Biden plans to make the case that Congress needs to move quickly to raise the federal government’s $31.4 trillion debt ceiling in a Wednesday visit to a House district that Republicans won by a narrow margin in November.

The Democrat’s trip comes the day after he met with top Republican and Democratic lawmakers for the first time in three months to try to move forward on the debt ceiling, to avoid a historic default that the Treasury Department has warned could come in weeks.

In an appearance at Westchester Community College north of New York City, Biden plans to discuss the need to move quickly to head off default. The college is located in a suburban district represented by Republican congressman Mike Lawler, one of a handful of New York Republicans who unseated Democrats in 2022, giving their party its narrow 222-213 House of Representatives majority.

Democrats view Republican House members who narrowly won election as possibly vulnerable to being pressured into breaking with their party’s leadership and voting for a bill to raise the debt ceiling without conditions.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has said Republicans will not vote to raise the borrowing limit without an agreement to cut spending.

Lawler will attend the event with Biden, an aide to the lawmaker said.

The president will also attend two fundraising events for his 2024 reelection bid hosted by wealthy donors – former Blackstone executive Tony James and Executive Chairman of the Libra Group George Logothetis.

Tickets for the James gathering will go for $25,000 per person, according to a memo to donors. Biden announced this year that he would appoint James to his intelligence advisory board.

Logothetis has regularly donated to the Democratic Party and hosted gatherings in support of former President Barack Obama.

While Biden has largely focused on his presidential duties since announcing his bid for re-election, his campaign operation is coming to life.

The events being planned for Biden are expected to generate some $2.5 million for his reelection campaign, according to sources.