US Government Division on Debt Ceiling Continues

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., joined by the GOP leadership, meets with reporters at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, May 3, 2022. Reacting to reports that the Supreme Court could overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case, McConnell said the leak should be investigated and punished to the fullest extent possible. InternationalIndiaAfricaMary ManleyUS Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned on Monday the US could face default as early as June 1, urging lawmakers to act promptly on extending the debt ceiling in order to avoid a full-out economic crisis.A number of Senate Republicans declined the passage of a short-term debt limit increase on Tuesday over concerns such an initiative would not result in a faster negotiation process.Although an extension would provide a temporary bandaid amid ongoing negotiations, many Republicans have largely viewed pushing the deadline as a bluff.”We’ve been kicking the can down the road for four and a half years since I’ve been here,” said Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN). “We need to at least agree to something without delaying it.”While Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) also called the potential extension a “gimmick” he would not support, Senate Majority Whip John Thun (R-SD) underscored that he preferred one quick fix to the debt ceiling talks.

“I would prefer that we get this done the first time. That always gets dicey. And, frankly, I don’t even know if there’d be the votes for [a short-term extension],” Thune said. “I think there’s going to have to be a really earnest effort made to try and negotiate something that can get passed by the deadline.”

Debt ceiling talks have increasingly become politicized and part of negotiating tactics among congressional lawmakers seeking to gain some concessions across the aisle. Republicans are presently seeking to raise the debt ceiling in exchange for high spending cuts outlined in a House bill passed last week.

The GOP-led House bill would roll back some of US President Joe Biden’s agenda, including stricter work requirements for those using food assistance programs and Medicaid, ending Biden’s green energy tax credits, and cancel his student loan forgiveness program.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) commented earlier Tuesday that Biden would either have to “accept” the House bill or work out a deal with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Biden is scheduled to meet with congressional leadership on the debt ceiling and budget matters on May 9. “There is no solution in the Senate,” the Kentucky lawmaker told media.The measure presently has little chance of being cleared in the Senate, with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer earlier stating that the upper chamber would be holding hearings to shed light on the “true impact” the Republican-backed legislation would have on working Americans.The US hit their borrowing limit in January and since then has been using “extraordinary measures” to pay their bills. Since 1960, Congress has had to intervene 78 times to change the debt limit. The US is currently at a debt of about $31 trillion, according to Pew Research Center and the US National Debt Clock, which tracks the nation’s debt in real time.If the government defaults it will not be able to pay for Social Security, issue tax refunds, or pay federal employee and military salaries. The stock market could also plummet, homes and cars would increase in price and the US could tip into a recession causing some Americans to lose their jobs.

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