"Hypocritical." "Dangerous." "Disgraceful." It's not even enough to mention "playing Russian Roulette with the American economy."
Biden stated that Republicans voted in tax cuts and spending plans that increased the federal debt by nearly $8 trillion during Donald Trump's administration. This briefly broke his tradition of not naming his brand-conscious predecessor. Biden stated that they are not willing to pay the debt ceiling by increasing the debt limit.
The debt ceiling cannot be raised for future spending. This merely grants the government formal authority to pay existing bills.
In remarks to the White House, the president stated that "they won't raise them even though defaulting in the debt would result is self-inflicted wounds which would take our economy over the cliff." These consequences are also detailed in an independent Moody's Analytics Report. They include higher unemployment, higher credit card and mortgage interest rates, as well as the delay of payments like Social Security and Veterans benefits.
Biden said that "What they're trying to do is reckless and dangerous in our view" and added that the U.S. could feel the effects as soon as this week.
Once, raising the debt ceiling was a pro-forma vote and bipartisan vote. The measure has yet to be passed, despite the fact that nearly every vote on Capitol Hill became a party-line power struggle. Janet Yellen, Treasury Secretary, has repeatedly warned that the country must pass the measure by Oct. 18, if it is to officially default on its debts.
Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell from Kentucky insists that Democrats do it on their own. He argues that the majority party doesn’t need to rely on minority legislators to pass it.
It is more complicated than that: Senate Democrats cannot pass anything when the GOP threatens filibuster, meaning that a supermajority (60 votes) would be necessary for passage. A complicated budget reconciliation process is the only way Democrats can get the debt ceiling increased passed. This measure is not filibusterable and takes several weeks due to the many amendments that are included in this massive bill.
McConnell wrote Monday a letter to President Obama in which he criticized the GOP strategy and blasted the Democratic leaders in Congress: Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
McConnell stated that bipartisanship was not something Speaker Pelosi or Leader Schumer could flip on to borrow money, and then flip it off to spend it. "Republicans' position has been simple. We don't have a list of demands. We have been warning you for two and a quarter months that your party cannot govern itself, and must manage the debt limit on its own.
McConnell stated that "Your lieutenants must understand that you don't want your unified Democratic government, to sleepwalk towards an avoidable disaster when they have had almost three months notice to do their jobs," McConnell added.
There has been very little public polling about the debt ceiling, as the nation is so consumed by issues like the pandemic, Afghanistan withdrawal, and inflation. Morning Consult's recent poll suggests McConnell's political instincts have been right. 39% would blame both the Democrats and Republicans for the failure, while 31% would blame Democrats. Only 20% would blame Republicans.
In earlier years, polling has shown that people are more concerned about the debt ceiling than overspending. For example, a CBS poll in 2013 found that, while nearly three-quarters of Americans don't want to default on their nation's debt, 55% believed that a debt ceiling rise should be accompanied with spending cuts.
Republicans on the Hill have been connecting future spending to debt limits in an indirect manner, claiming that Biden's expectations for a $3.5 trillion package of "human infrastructure" is too lofty. This package is part of a budget reconciliation bill and will almost certainly be cut in cost by Democratic negotiations.
To force Democrats to include the debt limit increase in Biden's "Build back Better" plan reinforces the false impression that the debt limit is tied to this spending package.
Biden attempted to provide a tutorial Monday on the fiscal issue for the public.
"This is the Republican position to the people watching at home. Biden stated that they won't increase the debt to pay for their spending. They said Democrats should handle it all on their own. They want to use a process called the filibuster which means we must get 60 votes. They are using their power to stop us from doing our jobs.
Schumer is also insisting on a clear debt ceiling bill. He wrote to fellow Democrats in a Dear Colleague letter asking them to be ready to work on the matter through the weekend.
"Let's be clear: We must submit a bill to President by the end this week that addresses the debt limit. It's that simple. Schumer stated that we don't have the luxury to wait until October 18."
Biden stated that he believed default would not occur, but that McConnell was the key to it.
"Can you guarantee it?" Biden stated that if I could, I would. "But I can't.