Forty-six Senate Republicans say Democrats will have to accept sole responsibility for facilitating debt limit increase as Treasury issues warning.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen sent a letter to Congressional leaders on Wednesday warning that if Congress does not act to raise the debt ceiling soon “the most likely outcome is that cash and extraordinary measures will be exhausted during the month of October.”
Republicans are maintaining their position against raising the nation’s debt limit as the Democratic majorities in both the U.S. House and Senate continue their rush to pass trillions of dollars in new spending largely to advance the left’s political and social agenda.
Both parties have raised the debt limit when in the majority in the past, often delaying such votes until the eleventh hour. Secretary Yellen warned Congress that doing so “can cause serious harm to business and consumer confidence, raise short-term borrowing costs for taxpayers, and negatively impact the credit rating of the United States.”
“A delay that calls into question the federal government’s ability to meet all its obligations would likely cause irreparable damage to the U.S. economy and global financial markets,” Yellen writes.
To raise the debt limit, the Senate Democrats will either need to gain 10 Republicans to vote with their 50 members or resort to using the reconciliation process, allowing them to bypass the 60 vote requirement.
Another potential route would be to attach it to another piece of legislation, potentially disaster relief or other stop-gap funding, that could draw support from both parties.
On August 10th, 46 Senate Republicans signed onto a letter (shown below) addressed to the American people outlining the recent spending by Democrats, saying the left’s tax and spending plans will result in a $45 trillion debt level by 2031.
“Without a single Republican vote, they [Democrats] passed a $1.9 trillion ‘Covid relief’ bill in March even though $1 trillion was still unspent from previous bipartisan Covid relief bills,” the Republican Senators wrote. “Now they have passed a $3.5 trillion Budget Resolution, again without a single Republican vote.”
Republicans argue that that $3.5 trillion resolution will likely exceed $5 trillion when the dust settles.
While the Republican Senators agree that the nation should not default on its obligations, they say Democrats should own their irresponsible spending and do as necessary even if it means using the reconciliation process. However, these 46 Republicans say they will not vote to raise the debt ceiling.
“We, the undersigned Republican Senators, are letting Senate Democrats and the American people know that we will not vote to increase the debt ceiling, whether that increase comes through a stand-alone bill, a continuing resolution, or another vehicle,” the Senator wrote.
Both Mississippi’s Senators Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith signed on to this letter.
Some pundits have suggested the landscape has shifted in recent days, given the push for the federal government to assist in the wake of Hurricane Ida and the pending lack of funding for flood insurance with the NFIP as rates are set to increase, also in October.
Democrats will likely attempt to tie whatever they can to the debt ceiling vote to paint Republicans as careless or heartless, even it means using disaster aid as a tool in their partisan posturing to get what they want without fully owning their reckless spending over the past 8 months since President Joe Biden took office.
Senate Hyde-Smith’s office says the Mississippi Senator stands by her commitment included in the August 10 letter.
“Senator Hyde-Smith believes the Democrats’ eagerness to play partisan games with the debt limit issue is further proof that they remain solely focused on record-shattering spending rather than ensuring the United States does not default on its debts,” Hyde-Smith’s office sent Y’all Politics in a statement.
There is also no reason to believe that Senator Wicker’s position as changed as of late either. Wicker has decried the haphazard Democrat spending agenda since Biden was sworn in, only supporting targeted spending he felt necessary and prudent, such as in the infrastructure bill passed earlier this summer. Wicker said he supported that package as it provided means by which it would be funded, largely utilizing unspent COVID relief dollars.
On Wednesday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi addressed Secretary Yellen’s letter, saying Democrats will not be acting to raised the debt limit in a reconciliation. She blamed the need on paying for “the Trump credit card,” instead of her party’s latest spending spree.
Pelosi says Democrats will not act alone to raise the debt ceiling in reconciliation bill.
But she says a lift is needed to pay for "the Trump credit card" — more than $7 trillion added to the national debt under the Trump administration. pic.twitter.com/FpotCiarQ3
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 8, 2021
Speaker Pelosi’s comments could be seen as playing chicken with Republicans, essentially daring the minority party to block a bill that would raise the debt ceiling.
Below is the full letter Senate Republicans signed opposing the debt limit increase in August.