Pingree, ~200 House Democrats Call for Congress to Reject Republican Debt Ceiling Demands and Avoid Economic Default
House Dems demand a clean debt ceiling increase and separately “welcome an open and productive debate…on approaches to address both federal spending and revenues"
Washington, April 26, 2023
Today, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) and nearly 200 members from across the House Democratic Caucus called on Republicans to uphold their obligation to protect the full faith and credit of the United States by lifting the debt ceiling “without any extraneous policies attached.”
The lawmakers also emphasize, “separate from the lifting of the debt ceiling, House Democrats have welcomed an open and productive debate through the normal budgetary process on approaches to address both federal spending and revenues that do not involve the threat of nonpayment of funds already appropriated by law.” The House Democrats underscore that Congressional Republicans voted to raise the debt ceiling on three separate occasions under President Trump.
The catastrophic impact of breaching the debt ceiling cannot be overstated. Moody’s Analytics projects a prolonged breach would lead to a 4 percent decline in GDP, 7 million jobs lost with unemployment above 8 percent, and roughly $10 trillion in household wealth wiped out. The specter of default would haunt the U.S. economy, with GDP a full percentage point lower a decade after the crisis and 900,000 jobs never regained. Additionally, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that a default would cause a recession in the U.S. economy and ultimately could cause a global financial crisis.
The letter reads in part:
“Although [Republicans] recently stated that ‘the greatest threat to our future is our national debt,’ we note with puzzlement that Congressional Republicans voted to pass the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) in 2017, which the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated would increase the federal deficit by $1.9 trillion over 10 years, with 83 percent of the law’s benefits estimated to accrue to the richest 1 percent by 2027. The first act of House Republicans in the 118th Congress under your Speakership was passing legislation — which Democrats unanimously opposed — to rescind funding for I.R.S. enforcement against tax evasion by wealthy individuals and large corporations. The CBO estimated that by reducing revenue, that legislation would increase the deficit by $114 billion over 10 years. In fact, the Republican agenda would increase the debt by over $3 trillion.”
House Democrats make it clear that while they welcome debate on spending and economic responsibility, negotiations over spending must be distinct from the threat of economic default, and any cuts to Social Security and Medicare are ‘off the table.’
The full text of the letter can be found here.