By Bernie Becker - 02/03/14 11:17 AM EST
A group of House Democrats on Monday urged their GOP counterparts to quickly pass a clean debt-limit hike, arguing that a showdown over raising the country’s borrowing authority would hurt ordinary taxpayers.
The Democrats added that President Obama and other party leaders have made it clear that they won’t negotiate over raising the $16.7 trillion debt limit, which is set to be hit later this week after having been suspended last October.
A debt-limit increase without any strings attached, the Democrats wrote to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), "would ensure that all taxpayers receive their money promptly and protect against an economically disastrous default on our nation's obligations."
"Failure to act quickly will endanger our economic recovery and send a signal to American taxpayers that their refunds may be in jeopardy, potentially raising unnecessary panic among families awaiting their tax refunds," the 16 Democrats on the Ways and Means panel added.
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew reiterated on Monday that Congress needed to raise the debt ceiling as soon as possible, stressing that some of the extraordinary measures the administration has utilized in the past won’t go as far this time around.
Republicans are still trying to decide what sort of policy concessions they’ll seek in exchange for raising the borrowing authority, but — in the wake of October’s unpopular government shutdown — those demands are expected to be more limited than in the past.