President Joe Biden has accused Republicans of recklessness over the congressional deadlock of raising America’s borrowing limit, warning that the dollar runs the risk of losing its status as a reserve currency if the U.S. government fails in its debt.
Speaking from the White House on Monday, Biden compared the debt ceiling in Congress to a “meteor” heading to “crashes in our economy ”, just as it recovers from the depths of the pandemic.
“It will undermine the security of US Treasury bonds, it will threaten the reserve status of the dollar as the currency of the world,” Biden said, adding that the US also faced the risk of rising interest rates and a possible downgrade of the credit rating. can threaten.
On the question of whether he can guarantee that the US does not violates the debt limit, Biden replied that he could not do it. “It’s up to Mitch McConnell,” he said, referring to the Republican minority leader in the Senate.
Biden’s comments highlight the growing anxiety in the Biden administration over the debt ceiling and its potential to wreak havoc on the financial markets and the US recovery if no compromise is reached. Janet Yellen, the U.S. Treasury Secretary, said the U.S. runs the risk of paying its bills after October 18 without cash.
Democrats and the White House insist that raising the debt limit should be a dual responsibility, as it reflects the spending and tax decisions approved by both parties over the years. But Republicans in Congress are refusing to approve any debt ceiling increase, on the grounds that it would imply an implicit endorsement of Biden’s billions of dollars in spending.
They argue that Democrats – who control both the chambers of Congress and the White House – should increase it unilaterally through a legislative procedure known as reconciliation that requires only a simple majority in the Senate. Republicans will not even give their consent for the debt ceiling increase to proceed procedurally in the Senate for the time being, which will enable the Democrats to pass it quickly on their own.
Democrats are willing to do all the work to stop this. Republicans should just let us do our job. Just get out of the way. “If you do not want to help save the country, you must get out of the way so that you do not destroy it,” Biden said.
Voting to raise the debt limit is especially difficult for Republicans, though it can also be uncomfortable for Democrats, especially those in swing states or congressional districts on the battlefield.
Biden’s renewed focus on the debt limit follows days of tension and infighting among Democrats on Capitol Hill over the fate of the U.S. president’s plans to reform the economy with billions of dollars in new investments over the next decade, funded by tax increases.
Biden and the leaders of the Democratic Congress last week did not reach a compromise that could pave the way for the breakthrough of a $ 1.2 ton infrastructure plan and a $ 3.5 million package, including investments to tackle climate change. fight and expand government support for education, child care and health care. .
Biden told reporters he “closed” the agreement with 99% of his party, but only needed the support of 48 of the 50 senators for a majority in the upper house, suggesting Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, two conservative Democrats, were the main obstacles.
Biden’s comments about the debt limit come when Chuck Schumer, the leader of the majority in the senate, said he wanted Biden to sign an increase in the loan limit by the end of the week.
“We do not have the luxury of waiting until October 18, as it is our responsibility to assure the world that the United States is fulfilling our obligations in a timely manner and that the full faith and credit of the United States should never be at stake. not, “he said.
McConnell sent a letter to Biden on Monday morning in which he said that the “nation is moving in the direction of a significant and avoidable danger”, placing the blame on the leaders of the Democratic Congress. Biden said he expects to have an “honest” conversation with the leader of the minority in the Senate.