WASHINGTON: US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (pix) on Wednesday called President Joe Biden’s refusal to discuss the state debt ceiling “irresponsible” and warned that a delay in negotiations would increase financial risks for the United States, reported Sputnik.

According to the White House, Biden is expected to hold a meeting with McCarthy soon to convince the Republican-majority lower chamber of Congress to approve additional spending despite their calls for budget cuts.

“For the president – he said he would not even negotiate – that is irresponsible. We are going to be responsible, we are going to be sensible, and we are going to get this done together. So, the longer he waits, the more he puts the fiscal jeopardy over America ... We should sit down and get this done and stop playing politics,“ McCarthy told reporters at a briefing broadcast by the C-SPAN broadcaster.

The House Speaker also called the US’ state debt surpassing US$31 trillion or 120 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) “the greatest threat to America” and said that he was not completely against the decision to increase the state spending, but was advocating for a “responsible” debt ceiling.

“But here is the leader of the free world, pounding on a table, being irresponsible and saying, ‘No, no, no, just raise the limit, make us spend more!’ No, that is not how adults act. That is not how elected officials ... act,“ McCarthy said.

Earlier this month, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that the US would soon reach its outstanding debt limit, with the US national debt now amounting to US$31.46 trillion. Last week, the Treasury said it had begun taking extraordinary measures to avoid a government debt default by temporarily suspending payments not immediately needed for essential programmes. -Bernama