Biden stresses consequences of failing to raise debt ceiling in meeting with CEOs


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President Joe Biden emphasized the importance of raising America’s debt limit in a meeting with CEOs of major businesses on Wednesday.


Biden began a meeting with heads of businesses such as AARP, BOA, Citi, Deloitte, Intel, JP Morgan, NASDAQ, National Association of Realtors by urging Republicans not to block Democrats from raising debt limits.

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He said this process happens regularly, no matter which party has control over the government. But in recent years it has become another partisan battleground.

“It doesn’t have to be this way,” Biden insisted. “My Republican friends need to stop playing Russian roulette with the American economy. If they don’t want to work, just get out of the way. We’ll take the heat. We’ll do it. We’ll do it without interrupting the Democrats or And let the credit limit for delay be increased.”

Congress avoided a partial government shutdown last week when it funded federal programs in a stopgap bill. But experts say that failing to raise the debt limit will prove to be far more disastrous than the shutdown.

The US government operates on a budget deficit, which means it spends more money than it brings in through taxes. So, it borrows money to make up the difference. A default would mean the government has exceeded the statutory debt limit and is unable to pay some of its creditors.

President Joe Biden (C) speaks during a meeting with business leaders and CEOs on the need to address the debt limit on October 6, 2021 in Washington, DC, in the South Auditorium of the White House. (Photo by Nicolas Chem/AFP via Getty Images)

The Treasury marked October 18 as a soft time frame in which it could run short of funds. Experts believe that would trigger a recession that devastated the global economy.

Biden said it would jeopardize the US dollar as the world’s currency, raise interest rates for American home and car buyers, downgrade America’s credit rating, and threaten Social Security and veterans’ benefits. Will give

Congress has the power to avoid it — especially in this case the Senate, which is set to vote on the measure on Wednesday. But what was once a routine duty that neither party obstructed, has become increasingly partisan.

The House has already passed a measure that will raise the debt limit. But Senate Republicans, following orders from Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., have tended to block Democratic attempts to pass the bill.

related: House votes to suspend debt ceiling, bill heads to Senate

Democrats have the simple majority needed to pass the measure, but they don’t have the 60 votes needed to end the filibuster.

The filibuster rule allows a minority party to block the agenda of the majority party if they lack the necessary votes to end the debate. Many Democrats, especially the more progressive members, are calling for an end to the filibuster, although it still has defenders among moderates.

McConnell had previously tried to link the need to raise the debt ceiling with Biden’s $3.5 trillion spending bill. But Biden downplayed it, saying it was meant to cover past spending.

“Raising the loan limit is paying off our old debts,” Biden insisted on Wednesday. “It has nothing to do with new spending. Or what may happen this year or next. It has nothing to do with infrastructure or my plans on building better.”

Now, McConnell is forcing Democrats to use a much slower process, which can take days if not weeks. It will eat into their agenda, giving Republicans enough time to remind voters about the unpopular vote.

“The unified Democratic government had two and a half months to address the debt ceiling through reconciliation. Instead, they went on the doorstep of yet another self-made Democrat crisis. Whether through miscalculations or their own There was a deliberate attempt to intimidate members. The Senate, top Democrats, risk adding a default crisis to the inflation crisis, the border crisis and the Afghanistan crisis they have already created.” McConnell said in a statement released on Wednesday.

McConnell has proposed in December to allow Democrats to pass an emergency loan limit extension at a certain dollar amount to cover current spending levels. He has also offered an option for a stand-alone debt ceiling law to expedite the budget resolution process.

Budget reconciliation allows bills to be bypassed filibuster with a simple majority. One way around that hurdle would be to change the filibuster rule. Biden, who has been slow to do away with the filibuster after Senate skirmishes over voting rights, indicated in off-the-cuff comments on Tuesday that Democrats are weighing a procedural change.

Dropping the filibuster would reduce the debate-ending limit to 50 votes. Vice President Kamala Harris will break any ties in the Senate, which will help move Democratic policies forward.

“It’s a real possibility,” Biden told reporters outside the White House.

President Joe Biden speaks to reporters on the South Lawn as he returns to the White House on October 5, 2021 in Washington DC. Biden returned to Washington after visiting Michigan. (Photo by Mandel NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Still, such a change would require unanimous Democratic support—which the party does not have. Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat often at odds with progressives, has been an outspoken defender of filibusters since the Democrats took control of the chamber.

“I think I am very clear,” Manchin told reporters on Wednesday. “nothing changes.” Sen. Kirsten Cinema, D-Ariz., has raised objections before.

In his weekly press conference, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D.N.Y., did not approve — or reject — the idea of ​​replacing the filibuster for this one specific issue.

Instead, Schumer simply reiterated what he, Biden and others have said – that Republicans should “get out of the way” and allow Democrats to pass a measure that has already been approved and sent from the House. Is.

“The best way to accomplish this is for Republicans to just get out of the way,” Schumer said. He said the burden of standing aside is on McConnell’s shoulders.

This story was reported from Atlanta.

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