President Joe Biden on Monday (OCtober 4) accused Senate Republicans of taking a “reckless” position in refusing to join Democrats in voting to raise the government’s $28.4 trillion debt as the United States faces the risk of a historic default in just two weeks.
Senate Republicans have twice in recent weeks blocked action to raise the debt ceiling – saying they do want action but are refusing to help. Republicans say Democrats can use a parliamentary maneuver known as budget reconciliation to act alone. Top Democrats have rejected using that approach.
What Republicans in Congress are “doing today is so reckless and dangerous in my view,” Biden told reporters at a White House news conference.
Failure to act could have catastrophic economic consequences. Moody’s last month warned that a failure to act could cause a nearly 4% decline in economic activity, the loss of almost 6 million jobs, an unemployment rate of close to 9%, a sell-off in stocks that could wipe out $15 trillion in household wealth and a spike in interest rates on mortgages, consumer loans and business debts.
Democrats note that they voted to raise the debt limit during Republican Donald Trump’s administration even though they opposed deep tax cuts that added to the debt.
“Raising the debt limit is usually a bipartisan undertaking, and it should be,” Biden said.
Biden blamed the “reckless tax and spending policies” of the previous Trump administration for the need to raise the debt limit, noting that the United States racked up nearly $8 trillion in new debt over four years, more than one quarter of the entire debt outstanding.
(Production: Mana Rabiee)