Biden confident Republicans will vote to raise debt ceiling
President Biden said Wednesday he remains confident Congress will raise the debt ceiling, despite Republicans vowing they will not vote with Democrats to do so.
“They are not going to let us default,” Biden told reporters, after saying he wasn’t worried about the debt ceiling. “$8 trillion is on the Republican’s watch.”
However, all but four members of the Senate Republican Conference signed a letter released Tuesday night stating they will not support increasing the debt ceiling.
“We, the undersigned Republican Senators, are letting Senate Democrats and the American public know that we will not vote to increase the debt ceiling, whether that increase comes through a stand-alone bill, a continuing resolution, or any other vehicle,” the group wrote in the letter.
“This is a problem created by Democrat spending. Democrats will have to accept sole responsibility for facilitating it,” the senators wrote.
Democrats have criticized Republicans for refusing the vote to raise the limit.
“I cannot believe the Republicans would let the country default,” Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) told reporters at a news conference Wednesday before the Senate left town for August recess.
Congress would need to pass legislation to raise or suspend the debt ceiling. Not doing so would risk default that could have dire consequences for the global financial system.
Thus far, Democrats are betting on Republicans to feel enough pressure to reverse their position. The budget resolution unveiled by Democrats on Monday setting up their $3.5 trillion spending plan did not mention raising the debt ceiling, indicating it would be left out of the package. Democrats are expected to pass the measure through budget reconciliation, which allows them to do so without the GOP support needed in most other circumstances to overcome the filibuster.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Monday urged lawmakers to take a bipartisan approach to raising the debt ceiling, warning that failing to do so would “cause irreparable harm to the U.S. economy.” Yellen noted that Congress did so three times under the administration of former President Trump.
“Congress should do so again now by increasing or suspending the debt limit on a bipartisan basis,” Yellen said in a statement. “The vast majority of the debt subject to the debt limit was accrued prior to the Administration taking office. This is a shared responsibility, and I urge Congress to come together on a bipartisan basis as it has in the past to protect the full faith and credit of the United States.”
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