WATCH: White House speaks on police reform, Biden’s meeting with McCarthy

The White House is facing fresh pressure to advance the issue of police reform as Vice President Kamala Harris was called to the pulpit at the funeral for Tyre Nichols.

Watch the briefing in the player above.

Harris insisted the White House would settle for nothing less than ambitious federal legislation to crack down on police brutality.

But bipartisan efforts to reach an agreement on policing legislation stalled last year, and President Joe Biden ended up signing an executive order named for George Floyd, whose murder at the hands of Minneapolis police set off nationwide protests nearly three years ago.

Now with a new killing in the headlines, Biden and Harris will meet with members of the Congressional Black Caucus on Thursday to see whether it’s possible to get legislation back on track.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Wednesday “not a day goes by, and especially not this day, today, without real reminders of how far we have left to go.”

She blamed Republicans for blocking progress in Congress.

WATCH: How videos of police brutality traumatize many Americans

“The way that we’re going to deal with this issue is to have federal legislation,” Jean-Pierre said. “That’s how we’re going to move forward.”

It’s a critical political question for the White House. Biden was elected with strong support from Black voters, and he’s preparing a reelection campaign that could launch in the near future.

Meanwhile, Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy are meeting Wednesday face-to-face at the White House, the new Republican leader hoping to negotiate significant federal spending cuts in a broader deal to prevent a debt limit crisis.

Biden has refused to engage in direct negotiations over raising the nation’s legal debt ceiling, warning against potentially throwing the economy into chaos. McCarthy all but invited himself to the White House, pushing to start the conversation before a summer debt deadline.

The House speaker arrives for the afternoon session carrying no formal GOP budget proposal, but he is laden with the promises he made to far-right and other conservative Republican lawmakers during his difficult campaign to become House speaker. He vowed then to work to return federal spending to 2022 levels — an 8 percent reduction. He also promised to take steps to balance the budget within the decade — an ambitious, if politically unattainable goal.

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The political and economic stakes are high for both leaders, who have a cordial relationship, and for the nation as they work to prevent a debt default. But expectations are low that this first meeting since the embattled McCarthy won the speaker’s gavel will yield early results.

The nation is heading toward a fiscal showdown over raising the debt ceiling, a once-routine vote in Congress that has taken on oversized significance over the past decade as the nation’s debt toll mounts. Newly empowered in the majority, House Republicans want to force Biden and Senate Democrats into budget cuts as part of a deal to raise the limit.

Slashing the federal budget is often easier said than done, as past budget deals have shown.

After a 2011 debt ceiling standoff during the Obama era, Republicans and Democrats agreed to across-the-board federal budget caps on domestic and defense spending that were supposed to be in place for 10 years but ultimately proved too much to bear.

After initial cuts, both parties agreed in subsequent years to alter the budget caps to protect priority programs. The caps recently expired anyway, and last year Congress agreed to a $1.7 trillion federal spending bill that sparked new outrage among fiscal hawks.

McCarthy said over the weekend he would not be proposing any reductions to the Social Security and Medicare programs that are primarily for older Americans, but other Republicans want cuts to those as part of overall belt-tightening.