Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will speak to the Republican Study Committee, the largest conservative caucus in the House Republican Conference, at the group’s weekly meeting on Wednesday, an aide for the group said.
The debt ceiling and banking issues are likely to be top topics of interest for members. CQ Roll Call first reported Powell’s scheduled visit with the caucus.
The Fed chairman’s visit comes as House Republicans are pushing the White House and Democrats to agree to spending cuts as a condition of voting to raise the debt ceiling. President Biden has pushed Republicans to offer spending cuts proposals, but the House GOP has not yet done so.
Earlier this month, the Republican Study Committee — which has more than 170 members — released a “policy menu” of dozens of possible spending reforms to bring up during debt limit negotiations.
Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Biden have not met to discuss the debt since Feb. 1. Congress is expected to have to act on the debt in order to avoid default by sometime this summer, but the Treasury Department has not projected a specific date by which Congress must act.
“I have been waiting to get to the table the entire time. Unfortunately, the president doesn’t think it’s important. He’s really jeopardizing the financial markets of America by his activity,” McCarthy said on Friday.
Powell said in a House Financial Services Committee hearing earlier this month that lawmakers “must raise” the debt ceiling to avoid unprecedented default.
“No one should assume that the Fed can protect the economy from the non-payment of the government’s bills, let alone a debt default,” Powell said.
Powell’s Wednesday visit, which an aide said was scheduled before the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, is also likely to address federal oversight of the banking system.
McCarthy said at Republicans annual issues retreat in Orlando, Fla., last week that no one from the White House reached out to him during the weekend the bank collapsed, but that he talked to Powell “often” that weekend.