House Democrats are blasting their GOP colleagues for exiting Washington, D.C. just days before the U.S. is expected to run out of cash and, for the first time in history, be unable to pay its debts – unless Congress passes legislation to raise the debt ceiling. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has repeatedly warned that June 1 is the likely deadline, as Republicans reportedly don’t believe her. Experts agree the results of a default would be globally catastrophic.
Among the likely outcomes would be potentially massive increases in interest rates, social security recipients not getting paid, businesses with government contracts not getting paid, layoffs and spiking unemployment, potential bank runs, a recession, lack of confidence in the U.S. dollar, destabilizing world financial markets, and increased international reliance on America’s enemies including China, further destabilizing the U.S.
Three weeks ago the Biden administration published a report showing that “defaulting on our government’s debt could reverse the historic economic gains that have been achieved since the president took office: an unemployment rate near a 50-year low, the creation of 12.6 million jobs, and robust consumer spending that has consistently powered a solid, reliable growth engine, supported by paychecks from the strong job market and healthy household balance sheets.”
House Democrats are insisting this is actually the goal of the GOP, and warning them to not do so.
Democrats are urging Republicans to stay in Washington until the job is done, but the Republican-majority House, under Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s leadership, is, as one Democrat put it, “running out of town.”
“We’re here. We continue to work,” House Democratic Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries told Politico’s Nicholas Wu. “We want to get a resolution of this manufactured default crisis. And unfortunately, Republicans have chosen to get out of town.”
On the House floor, Leader Jeffries continued to pound Republicans.
“This is a default crisis that is manufactured MAGA madness,” Jeffries declared, rightly noting that the debt ceiling crisis is an entirely made-up construct that doesn’t even exist in most other countries. “It is repugnant, reckless and reprehensible. It’s unacceptable. It’s unconscionable and it’s un-American. And that’s why House Democrats have remained on the House floor fighting hard for every-day Americans. That’s why we are here. And we will continue to fight for working families, continue to fight for middle class folks, continue to fight for all those who aspire to be part of the middle class, continue to fight for young people, continue to fight for older Americans, continue to fight for veterans, continue to fight for military families, continue to fight for people in urban America and rural America and suburban America and small town America and the heartland of America, continue to fight for the people in Appalachia, continue to fight for the poor, the sick and the afflicted, continue to fight for the least, the lost, and the left behind. House Democrats will continue to fight for every-day Americans to avoid the default and we will not rest until victory is won.”
Leader Jeffries also noted that Democrats “helped make sure we avoided default three times, notwithstanding the fact that in our country’s 247 year history 25% of the nation’s debt was racked up under the four years of the Trump administration.”
“How dare you lecture America about fiscal responsibility with that shameful record, notwithstanding the fact that you’ve racked up unprecedented amounts of debt to subsidize the rich, the richest amongst us, and big corporations. We never threatened to default.”
He accused Republicans of making “a political calculation that you will be successful in 2024 if you crash the economy.”
“That’s wrong. That’s cruel. That’s un-American, because you’ll be hurting veterans, hurting children, hurting seniors, hurting young people, hurting every-day Americans. And that’s why Democrats are here today in Washington fighting hard against this unreasonable manufactured default crisis.”