Former Treasury secretaries tried to resolve debt limit impasse in talks with McConnell, Yellen: report

Former Treasury secretaries tried to resolve the debt limit impasse in talks with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden says he's open to altering, eliminating filibuster to advance voting rights Pelosi says GOP senators 'voted to aid and abet' voter suppression for blocking revised elections bill Manchin insists he hasn't threatened to leave Democrats MORE (R-Ky.) and Treasury Secretary Janet YellenJanet Louise YellenFinancial oversight panel unveils climate risk plan On The Money — Democrats eye tough choices as deadline looms Supply snarls, hiring issues hindered economy in September: Fed report MORE, four people familiar with the situation told The Washington Post.

The two Republican ex-Treasury secretaries, Henry Paulson and Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinMajor Russian hacking group linked to ransomware attack on Sinclair: report The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Biden jumps into frenzied Dem spending talks Former Treasury secretaries tried to resolve debt limit impasse in talks with McConnell, Yellen: report MORE, reportedly spoke to Yellen and McConnell about their concerns over effects that the debt limit impasse could cause.

Two people familiar with the conversation said Paulson told McConnell of his fears if the government defaulted on the debt and the global impact it could cause. McConnell reportedly told Paulson he is serious about Democrats having to raise the debt limit on their own.


Two other people said Mnuchin had a discussion with McConnell the week of Sept. 6 where Mnuchin also expressed fears of what a default could lead to, according to the Post. 

After both meetings, Mnuchin and Paulson told the Biden administration that McConnell was serious about making Democrats raise the limit without Republican support.

Another person familiar with the discussions says Yellen has called Democrats and Republicans to talk about the economic implications a default would have on the U.S. and the global economy. 

Republicans and Democrats are currently in a standoff over the debt limit, as Democrats do not want to raise the debt ceiling without Republican support and the GOP doesn't want to give that support. 

If the U.S. does not raise the debt ceiling, economists fear the consequences of a default that would lead to financial turmoil and hurt the economy. 

The debt ceiling limit is typically approved by both parties, but Republicans want Democrats to take full responsibility for the raise this time around.