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Biden says Republican stonewalling on debt ceiling risks U.S. default

Economic IndicatorsOct 05, 2021 12:26AM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer attends a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., July 20, 2021. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz 2/2

By Susan Cornwell, Richard Cowan and Jarrett Renshaw

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -President Joe Biden said on Monday the federal government could breach its $28.4 trillion debt limit in a historic default unless Republicans join Democrats in voting to raise it in the two next weeks.

Senate Republicans, led by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, have twice in recent weeks blocked action to raise the debt ceiling https://www.reuters.com/world/us/congress-confronts-us-debt-ceiling-drama-again-2021-09-22, saying they do want action but will not help by voting for the move. Republicans say Democrats can use a parliamentary maneuver known as budget reconciliation to act alone. Top Democrats have rejected that approach.

"Raising the debt limit comes down to paying what we already owe ... not anything new," Biden said at a White House news conference.

Asked if he could guarantee the United States won't breach the debt limit, the president answered: "No, I can't. That's up to Mitch McConnell." He said he intended to speak with McConnell about the matter.

McConnell for months has said that Democrats should use the budget reconciliation process to get around the Senate's filibuster rule, which requires 60 of 100 members to agree to pass most legislation. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, has refused to use that approach, and Biden on Monday pleaded for Republicans not to block action with the filibuster.

"Just get out of the way," Biden told Republicans. "If you don't want to help save the country, get out of the way so you don't destroy it."

But Senator Joe Manchin, a moderate Democrat who has been at odds with many in his party on other major issues, said Democratic leaders should not rule out using budget reconciliation to raise the debt ceiling.

"Well they shouldn't rule out anything - we just can't let the debt ceiling lapse," Manchin said, according to CNN reporter Manu Raju, who tweeted the senator's comments.

'PREVENTABLE CRISIS,' MCCONNELL SAYS

Calling default a "preventable crisis," McConnell remained adamant. "Democrats need to tackle the debt limit," he said on the Senate floor.

In an open letter to Biden, McConnell reiterated that Democrats do not need Republican cooperation to pass a bill to raise the debt ceiling. Democrats have known the Republican position for three months, McConnell wrote.

Late last month the U.S. House of Representatives passed and sent to the Senate a bill to suspend the limit on Treasury borrowing through the end of 2022.

Schumer on Monday filed a cloture motion, which ends debate, on a measure that would allow for extension of the debt limit. The Senate is likely to vote on it later this week, the third time Schumer has brought the issue to a vote.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen last week warned lawmakers that the United States government would exhaust its federal borrowing capabilities by about Oct. 18.

Failure to act could have catastrophic economic consequences. Moody's (NYSE:MCO) last month warned that default could cause a nearly 4% decline in economic activity, the loss of almost 6 million jobs, an unemployment rate of close to 9%, a sell-off in stocks that could wipe out $15 trillion in household wealth and a spike in interest rates on mortgages, consumer loans and business debts.

Concerns over the debt ceiling contributed to Monday's drop in the stock market. Wall Street's main indexes tumbled. (N)

Democrats voted to raise the debt limit during Republican President Donald Trump's administration even though they opposed deep tax cuts that added to the debt.

Biden said the United States racked up nearly $8 trillion in new debt over Trump's four years in office, more than one quarter of the entire debt outstanding.

"Republicans in Congress raised the debt three times" under Trump, he said, with Democratic support.

Schumer said the Senate will have to stay in session through the weekend and possibly into a planned recess next week if no progress is made on raising the debt limit.

 

Biden says Republican stonewalling on debt ceiling risks U.S. default
 

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Comments (20)
Nordin Mohamad
Nordin Mohamad Oct 05, 2021 2:12AM ET
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well maybe they have forgotten that if usa gov out of money mean they dont get paid...
Rodney Dangerfield
Rodney Dangerfield Oct 05, 2021 2:02AM ET
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Republicans and Democrats are owned by the same people the very same people that will become ungodly rich while you become ungodly poor standing there with a worthless cryptocurrency just like you wanted instead of putting the US dollar back on the gold standard which is the answer don't believe me pull out $100 bill what do you think the feather pen and inkwell mean.... you probably won't figure it out since you can't tell the difference between Republicans and Democrats
Josh Davis
Josh Davis Oct 05, 2021 2:02AM ET
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Bingo lol
Aaron Chaff
AayAayRon Oct 05, 2021 1:20AM ET
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Don't listen to the nasty old man. Don't get out of the way.
Forex Harbingers
Forex Harbingers Oct 05, 2021 1:00AM ET
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Still better consequences than what your 4.5 trillion in reckless spending youre trying to pass.
Shahid Mahmood
Shahid Mahmood Oct 05, 2021 12:45AM ET
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3.5 Tr reconcilliation package first applauded by OPEC yesterday.American people get ready to spend 3.5 Tr on Oil only in next 10 years. 1000$ /b ha ha ha
Transparent Labs
Transparent Labs Oct 04, 2021 11:10PM ET
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Biden doesn't have a clue where he is!
William Smith
William Smith Oct 04, 2021 9:13PM ET
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Biden is either intentionally lying or so ignorant that he doesn't know the Democrats control the voting outcome without one Republican vote.
Jose Maderno
Jose Maderno Oct 04, 2021 9:10PM ET
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Reuters propaganda that contains no facts as usual.  They only publish what George tells them to publish.
Felipe Daniel
Felipe Daniel Oct 04, 2021 9:10PM ET
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George Soros the head of the Democrat Party
James Pattison
James Pattison Oct 04, 2021 7:59PM ET
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The democrats dont need a single republican vote to pss the debt ceiling… it only needs 51 votes to pass… but demcorats want to tie it to a bunch of terrible spending of other peoples money… so this whole article is a lie
Sol Wein
Sol Wein Oct 04, 2021 7:24PM ET
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One debt ceiling away from default. What a joke for a nation thats suppose to be a “superpower” lol
Mart Bab
Rubberduck1973 Oct 04, 2021 5:42PM ET
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Wait for it. This time we have the great divid in the USA. Dept sealing is not going to be raised this time. Crash is coming
Steven Kilgore
Steven Kilgore Oct 04, 2021 5:09PM ET
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Democrats control the House, Senate, and Presidency and the Parlimentrian has already said Democrats can use reconcilaion. Meaning democrats don’t need a single Republican vote to raise the debt celing. Butttt it’s somehow Republicans fault they can not accomplish this.
Sol Wein
Sol Wein Oct 04, 2021 5:09PM ET
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Beacuse they want their finger prints on it incase cra p hits the fan
Warren Wesley
Warren Wesley Oct 04, 2021 4:53PM ET
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we already know the dems blame Republicans, and Republicans blame dems. I blame the socialists. America does not want massive spending.
Josh Davis
Josh Davis Oct 04, 2021 3:32PM ET
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Biden you hold majority do it or move on. Stop trying to bait reps lol
Justin Currie
Justin Currie Oct 04, 2021 1:19PM ET
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Pretty sure Dems can do it on their own. They do control the House and the Senate. But the Dems blame Republicans 🤔
Justin Currie
Justin Currie Oct 04, 2021 1:19PM ET
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Pretty sure Dems can do it on their own. They do control the House and the Senate. But the Dems blame Republicans 🤔
John Avenetti
John Avenetti Oct 04, 2021 11:28AM ET
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They're a bunch of crooks and the US dollar will be gone inside of 10 years.
Yew Heng Goh
Yew Heng Goh Oct 04, 2021 11:27AM ET
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Finance Provider connection
Yew Heng Goh
Yew Heng Goh Oct 04, 2021 11:26AM ET
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Debt recovery and reduction programs
Josh Davis
Josh Davis Oct 04, 2021 11:08AM ET
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Say it with me raise it on your own. Take the accountability….next time run better budgets and balances
Gary Bergman
Gary Bergman Oct 04, 2021 11:08AM ET
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the Republicans ran up the bill with the massive tax cut, not the democrats. this is to pay for that debacle.
Josh Davis
Josh Davis Oct 04, 2021 11:08AM ET
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Gary Bergman wrong the republicans didnt run a 30 trillion tab bro wake up its embarassing for you
Josh Davis
Josh Davis Oct 04, 2021 11:08AM ET
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The government doesnt produce goods or services taxes steal your money. They pocket alot of these “bills” otherwise how do they go from making 150k to being worth 30 mil plus? Math is hard i know. All government is against you none are for you. Remember that
Ed Kutch
Ed Kutch Oct 04, 2021 11:08AM ET
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the Republicans didn't run up debt by themselves.... I guess you must have forgot about all the Trillions used for Covid relief. and there were quite a few Dems that voted for bailouts/help for everyone.... $1,600 for just breathing twice
John Laurens
John Laurens Oct 04, 2021 11:08AM ET
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Gary Bergman  Tax cuts have ZERO to do with spending problems. The dems need to find a way to cut spending rather than buying votes with printed money.
 
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