McConnell warns Yellen GOP won’t help raise debt limit

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Senatorial Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has warned Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen he is not moving on his demand that Democrats go it alone on the federal debt limit, deepening the nascent congressional impasse on how to strengthen government borrowing power.


What would you like to know

  • Senatorial Minority Leader Mitch McConnell does not budge on demand for Democrats to go it alone on federal debt limit
  • McConnell reiterated Wednesday night in a call with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen that Republicans will not help lift the federal borrowing cap, which now stands at $ 28.4 trillion.
  • Democrats note they worked with a GOP-controlled White House and Senate to suspend borrowing limit three times during President Donald Trump’s presidency
  • They insist Republicans reciprocate and share what may be a politically unpopular vote

Doug Andres, spokesman for McConnell, said the Kentucky Republican reiterated in a Wednesday night phone call with Yellen that Republicans will not join Democrats in raising the federal debt ceiling, which is now stands at $ 28.4 trillion.

“The leader has repeated to Secretary Yellen what he has said publicly since July: this is a unified Democratic government, engaged in partisan and reckless tax and spending madness,” Andres said. “They will have to raise the debt ceiling themselves and they will have the tools to do it.

Lawmakers appear to have only a few weeks to come to a compromise on the federal government’s debt limit before the U.S. Treasury is forced to delay or miss payments.

Senate Republicans are insisting that Democrats unaidedly pass legislation that would include an increase or suspension of the debt ceiling. But Democrats note that three times during President Donald Trump’s presidency, they worked with a Republican-controlled Senate and White House to suspend the borrowing limit. They insist that Republicans reciprocate and share what may be a politically unpopular vote that allows the government not only to quickly pay its bills, but also to take on more debt.

“Senators from both parties voted overwhelmingly in favor of the many laws that have contributed to this obligation,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y. “So neither party can wash their hands of the responsibility of paying the bills.”

The debt limit caps the amount of money the treasury can borrow to run government. When suspended for two years in July 2019, the public debt subject to the limit stood at $ 22 trillion. It now stands at $ 28.4 trillion.

An Associated Press analysis of US Treasury data shows that nearly 98% of the $ 28.4 trillion national debt predates Biden’s inauguration in January. This includes roughly $ 7.8 trillion piled up during Trump’s four-year presidency.

Yellen used “extraordinary measures” to save money. But once these measures and liquidity are completely depleted, the United States will have to rely on incoming receipts to pay its obligations, forcing the Treasury to delay or miss payments. Yellen predicted that this moment would come in October.

“Secretary Yellen will continue to speak to Republicans and Democrats about the critical need to quickly tackle the debt ceiling in a bipartisan fashion, in order to avoid the catastrophic economic consequences of a default,” the Treasury spokesperson Lily Adams.

Votes to raise or suspend the debt ceiling are often controversial. Congress has passed 17 separate debt limit changes since 2001, according to the non-partisan congressional research service.

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