A day after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., met with President Joe Biden to try to hammer out an agreement on the debt ceiling, Republicans from the House and Senate gathered on the steps of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday to show they are united in their demand for cuts and reforms in exchange for increasing the amount of money the federal government can borrow.

House Democrats plan to test that resolve. They started collecting signatures on a discharge petition Wednesday to force a vote on a so-called “clean” debt ceiling bill, that would raise the ceiling with no conditions attached.

Senate GOP ‘united’ behind House colleagues in debt ceiling fight

But it isn’t just in the House that Democrats face resistance to raising the debt ceiling without conditions. In the Senate, where it takes 60 senators to pass a bill, Republican senators — several of whom were at the press conference Wednesday — say they’re backing the House Republican bill.

That includes Utah Sen. Mike Lee, who has been out front on the debt ceiling issue, pushing Republicans to hold the line on their demands.

Earlier this month, he wrote a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, signed by 42 fellow Republican senators, saying they are “united behind the House Republican conference” and that the House bill should be a “starting point for negotiations on the debt ceiling.”

Lee spoke at the press conference Wednesday, where he reiterated his support for a bill passed by House Republicans that increased the debt ceiling while including spending cuts and structural reforms.

“We all understand the gravity of the situation, we need to address the debt ceiling, and we need to do so in a way that makes a difference to make sure that we’re not back here in just a few more months,” Lee said.

Lee says Biden views debt ceiling as ‘staring contest’

In an op-ed for Fox News, published Wednesday, Lee said Biden viewed debt ceiling negotiations as a “staring contest.”

“For decades, Washington has spent money it doesn’t have, piling on debt year after year. The result is an unsustainable debt burden that threatens to strangle our economy, cripple our ability to invest in national priorities and leave future generations holding the bag,” he wrote.

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After 43 GOP senators sign Lee’s letter, Biden has little choice but to negotiate on debt ceiling

Given resistance in the House and Senate, Biden has little choice but to continue negotiations. He struck a positive tone after his meeting with congressional leaders Tuesday.

“There was an overwhelming consensus, I think in today’s meeting with congressional leaders, that defaulting on the debt is simply not an option. Our economy would fall into recession,” Biden said.

Debt ceiling debate forces Biden to cut trip short

Biden is expected to cut a visit to Asia short in order to continue debt ceiling negotiations. While he will visit Japan this week, planned stops in Papua New Guinea and Australia will likely be postponed, Politico reported.

But even as Biden gets more involved in the talks, some Republican lawmakers are frustrated it took him so long to agree to come to the negotiating table, especially as Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen continually warned Congress about the dangers of a possible default.

While in Japan this week for a meeting with G7 finance ministers and central bankers, Yellen said a U.S. default would lead to an “economic and financial catastrophe.”

Moore says Biden is being ‘disingenuous’

In an interview with the Deseret News, Utah Rep. Blake Moore, a Republican who represents the 1st District, said the members of his caucus think a default is bad, but so are sky-high budget deficits. He also questioned why Biden stalled over starting negotiations.

“The minute that Republicans won the majority in the House, President Biden knew he was going to have to negotiate on the debt ceiling,” Moore said. “He knew that and he’s being completely disingenuous that for 97 days he refused to meet with Speaker McCarthy.”

Moore is on the House debt ceiling task force, and he said there’s a “sincere desire” among House Republicans to come to a resolution — but only if it includes spending reforms and cuts.

“We are the only branch of government that’s actually raised the debt ceiling,” he said. “Now it’s in the hands of Speaker McCarthy, President Biden, and leader Schumer and McConnell.”

Sen. Mitt Romney also weighed in on negotiations Wednesday, saying in a tweet, “POTUS correctly says default is catastrophic — so cut a deal with the House and end the madness.”