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Bank CEOs huddle with Schumer on the debt ceiling

<i>Drew Angerer/Getty Images</i><br/>Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer
Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer

By Matt Egan, CNN

New York (CNN) — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer urged JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and other leading bank executives during a meeting on Wednesday to push all members of Congress to take the threat of a disastrous default off the table, a person familiar with the matter told CNN.

Schumer met with Dimon and other bank CEOs at the Capitol to discuss the debt ceiling and other issues.

Afterwards, the New York Democrat said he stressed the dire stakes surrounding the debt ceiling.

“I asked them to make sure that they tell everybody that default should not be an option,” Schumer told reporters.

A person briefed on the meeting described it as a “frank” conversation where Schumer told the bank CEOs they should push every member of Congress to commit to not allowing America to default.

The huddle comes ahead of a scheduled meeting on Thursday afternoon in Washington between Wall Street leaders and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen where the debt ceiling is very likely to be a central focus.

The ongoing banking crisis was also discussed at the Schumer meeting, according to Dimon, whose company just reached a deal earlier this month to buy most of failed regional bank First Republic.

The JPMorgan CEO told reporters that he discussed banks with Schumer, saying that “regional banks are strong.”

Besides Dimon, the meeting included Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser and other bank executives, people familiar with the matter told CNN.

The 11 a.m. ET meeting, which was reported previously by Bloomberg, was part of an annual meeting held by the Bank Policy Institute, an industry trade group, sources told CNN.

In addition to Schumer, bank CEOs are expected to meet with other lawmakers and officials during the two-day trade group annual meeting in Washington.

As CNN previously reported, Yellen is scheduled to meet on Thursday afternoon with Dimon, Fraser and Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan.

The meetings come as the White House and congressional Republicans struggle to reach a compromise on how to avoid the debt ceiling and avoid what economists warn would be a disastrous debt default.

After leaving a Tuesday meeting at the White House with congressional leaders, Schumer said, “Default is disaster. Full stop. And everyone understood that in the room.”

— CNN’s Nicky Robertson contributed to this report.

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