(UnitedVoice.com) – The fight over the debt ceiling is heating up in Congress. Republicans and President Joe Biden’s administration are locked in a battle over the issue. The GOP wants huge spending cuts in return for raising the borrowing limit to pay the country’s bills. Conversely, the POTUS wants a clean bill to increase the limit.
While the two sides are battling it out, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is sounding the alarm about when the government will likely be unable to meet its financial responsibilities.
Secretary Issues A Warning
On May 15, Yellen sent a letter to Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R) to update him on where Treasury stands as it relates to paying for the US’ financial obligations. She said the government would no longer be able to pay all of its bills by June 1, according to the latest estimates. However, the secretary explained there is likely some leeway because her department will exhaust “extraordinary measures” that could push the date off for a few days or weeks.
Yellen went on to say that waiting until the last minute to take action to either increase or suspend the debt limit could “cause serious harm to business and consumer confidence, raise short-term borrowing costs for taxpayers,” and hurt the US credit rating. Further, she said a failure to act would hurt the American people, and the country’s global position, and raise concerns about whether the US would be able to “defend [its] national security interests.”
Democrats Try to Push Vote
On Wednesday, May 17, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) reportedly sent a letter to his colleagues to sign a discharge petition to force a vote on the debt ceiling. The procedural move could force the vote if the majority (218 members) of the House signs it.
The congressman explained that with the June 1 deadline right around the corner, it’s important to pursue “all legislative options” should both sides fail to come to an agreement. Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA) filed the discharge petition to create a path forward to “protect the full faith and credit” of the US.
I just filed a discharge petition to give Congress the flexibility to prevent a catastrophic default.
Millions of jobs are on the line — and Congress must do everything in our power to protect American families and our economy from this MAGA-manufactured crisis. pic.twitter.com/wTfXvXY5qE
— Rep. Brendan Boyle (@CongBoyle) May 17, 2023
McCarthy Digs His Heels In
The same day Democrats moved forward with the discharge petition, McCarthy appeared on Fox Business’ “Mornings with Maria.” The speaker said the GOP does not intend to budge on its hard lines. He told Maria Bartiromo that he would “never give up.” He said the Republican Party has the “perseverance and the grit” to negotiate.
McCarthy pointed out that the White House has assigned two officials to negotiate with Republicans, and that is already underway. The congressman said they now have a “short time frame to get the job done.”
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