Just a couple of weeks from the date when the United States is expected to no longer be able to pay its debts, President Joe Biden and his Republican counterparts in Congress say the financial crisis will be averted.

But Republican congressional representatives including Senator Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., appeared today to say it’s high time for the Biden administration to get serious about negotiations.

“And so here we are, on the brink of a Biden default,” Capito said on the U.S. Capitol steps, surrounded by Republican colleagues.

“You know, we have an obligation here. We have an obligation to the people that we represent, we have an obligation to to ourselves as responsive legislators, to do the right thing. And the right thing was to get into the room.”

The debt limit is the total amount of money that the United States government is authorized to borrow to meet its existing legal obligations. If the United States defaults on its debt, economists warn of dire effects on the economy.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned that the United States could be unable to meet its debt obligations by June 1 without legislative authorization to raise the debt ceiling. The Congressional Budget Office also revised its estimate to say the Treasury seems likely to run out of funds by early June.

President Biden met again Tuesday with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Republicans, and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Democrats.

Each came out of that high-level meeting expressing some optimism about the possibility of a deal. Now, top White House aides are directly carrying out negotiations with representatives for McCarthy.

“So we narrowed the group,” Biden said in public remarks today.

Biden, addressing reporters at the White House, said this week’s meetings have been productive.

“I’m confident that we’ll get the agreement on the budget, that America will not default,” Biden said. “And every leader in the room understands the consequences if we fail to pay our bills. It would be catastrophic for the American economy and the American people if we didn’t pay our bills.”

Late last month, House Republicans narrowly passed a bill that raises the debt limit while also sharply curtailing future spending growth.

Early on, the Biden administration pushed for legislation that focuses only on already-obligated debt, setting aside the question of future spending. There could be common ground on additional aspects of negotiations, such as regulatory permitting reform. Another area, work requirements for social welfare programs, is embraced by Republicans and criticized by Democrats.

“It’s time now for the president to get serious, to have fiscal responsibility, fiscal sanity,” Capito said today.

The House proposal would return 2024 discretionary federal spending to fiscal 2022 levels while capping spending growth at 1 percent a year for the next decade. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated the bill would curtail spending by more than $3 trillion a year over a decade, resulting in more than $4.5 trillion in federal savings once other factors such as interest are considered.

“We spend too much money. It’s the spending, stupid,” said Congresswoman Carol Miller, R-W.Va., speaking today on MetroNews’ “Talkline.” “You cannot run your house that way, you cannot run a business that way.”

Miller said the United States will not default on its debt.

“We’re not going to default. It’s not going to happen,” she said. “I’m not here to stop the government. I’m trying to stop the excessive spending.”

State Treasurer Riley Moore, running for Congress to represent West Virginia’s northern counties, said on “Talkline” that he supports the curtailed federal spending in the House bill.

“We’ve got to do something to get this under control,” said Moore, a Republican who is Capito’s nephew. “I think Washington’s spending is out of control We’ve got to bring it to heel.”