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Biden Schedules Bipartisan Deficit-Reduction Talk

Vice President Joseph Biden is inviting lawmakers to a deficit reduction meeting on May 5, the White House announced Monday.

President Barack Obama outlined his long-term deficit-reduction plan in a speech last week, during which he said Biden would take the lead in negotiations with Congress. The president said the talks should begin in May and end by early June, just as the nation is projected to reach its debt ceiling and risk going into default if lawmakers do not act.

The Treasury Department estimates that the nation will hit the ceiling by May 16 and that emergency measures can delay a default until early July. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner reiterated Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” that “the risk would be catastrophic” and that he was confident that Congress would vote to raise the debt ceiling.

Republicans have made clear that spending cuts and other deficit-reduction measures should accompany any legislation to increase the debt limit.

The bipartisan May 5 meeting will be held at Blair House, the White House said, without including a guest list. Further details are forthcoming, it added.

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