Abolish the Debt Ceiling So GOP Can’t Hold Economy Hostage, Says Senator Warren

Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Sunday stated congressional Democrats ought to use the upcoming lame-duck session to remove the U.S. debt ceiling for good, warning that leaving the borrowing restrict intact provides Republicans a gap to carry the economic system hostage.

“I’d eliminate the debt ceiling altogether,” Warren (D-Mass.) told NBC’s Chuck Todd, arguing that the arbitrary limit “serves no perform besides to create leverage for people who find themselves keen to explode the economic system.”

“And that’s the issue we’ve acquired proper now,” Warren continued. “Many of those new Republicans who’re coming in are people who find themselves coming in with precisely one aim: Get Donald Trump elected in 2024. They usually see that if they’ll create chaos within the economic system, then they assume which will transfer Donald Trump one inch nearer to election. So, we’ve acquired to take that away from them, take care in the course of the lame duck—handle elevating the debt restrict or eliminating it altogether.”

The U.S. is anticipated to achieve the debt ceiling — which dictates how a lot cash the Treasury Division can borrow to satisfy the nation’s obligations — sooner or later early subsequent yr, as soon as once more elevating the prospect of a default that might be disastrous for the U.S. economic system, wiping out millions of jobs and eliminating trillions of {dollars} in family wealth.

Talking to reporters on Sunday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said she helps congressional motion to lift the debt ceiling in the course of the lame-duck session. Yellen has previously backed calls to utterly abolish the debt ceiling, a proposal that President Joe Biden opposes.

“I feel it’s simply compromising the credit score of the US,” Yellen stated Sunday. “Casting doubt on the willingness of the US to pay its debt is a devastating financial self-inflicted blow.”

Within the run-up to final week’s midterm elections, prime Republicans within the Home — together with the lawmaker in line for speaker, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) — prompt they might be keen to make use of the debt ceiling as leverage to pursue cuts to Social Safety, Medicare, climate investments, and probably different spending.

Whereas Republicans received far fewer Home seats than anticipated, they’re nonetheless favored to take slim management of the chamber, leaving Democrats with dwindling time to stop GOP debt ceiling brinkmanship.

Requested Sunday whether or not the Senate will act on the debt ceiling in the course of the lame-duck session, Majority Chief Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said it’s “one thing that we are going to have a look at over the following few weeks.” Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) advised ABC on Sunday that the Home’s “finest shot” at elevating the restrict “is to do it now.”

“There’s nice threat to even discussing not doing it,” stated Pelosi, pointing to the harmful 2011 standoff over the debt ceiling, which allowed Republicans to force spending cuts. “So that is coping with hearth once we’re speaking in regards to the stability of our credit standing.”

Throughout an occasion at AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, Congressional Progressive Caucus chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) signaled that abolishing the debt ceiling is a part of the bloc’s coverage agenda.

Final month, dozens of congressional Democrats implored their occasion’s leaders to “take legislative motion that can completely undo the risk posed by the debt restrict” — a name that Social Safety defenders echoed.

“Democrats, together with President Joe Biden, centered closely on Social Safety in the course of the marketing campaign,” Alex Lawson, government director of Social Safety Works, stated in an announcement final week. “They made positive voters knew about Republican threats to this system, and promised that Democrats would shield Social Safety.”

“Now,” Lawson added, “it’s time for Democrats to maintain that promise by elevating or eliminating the debt ceiling within the closing months of the yr, in order that Republicans can’t use it as leverage to drive cuts to Social Safety and Medicare.”