(Trends Wide) — US President Joe Biden lashed out at Senate Republicans in brief remarks Monday when he asked Congress to raise the government’s debt limit, framing the moment as paying off debt already owed, with no new ones. expenses, before the October 18 deadline.
“What the Republicans in Congress are doing today is very reckless and dangerous in my opinion. Increasing the debt comes down to paying what we already owe, what has already been acquired, not anything new, “Biden said in the state dining room, describing the stagnation as a” trick “that is” playing Russian roulette with the economy. U.S”.
Biden criticized “reckless” tax and spending policies under the Trump administration, which he described as “bills we now have to pay.”
Republicans, he said, are “threatening to use a procedural power called obstructionism,” which, he explained, “would prevent Democrats from meeting our obligations and responsibilities, would prevent Congress from raising the debt limit.”
The president made a more delicate point on the moment: “The Republicans are not only refusing to do their job, they are threatening to use their power to prevent us from doing our job: saving the economy from a catastrophic event. I think, frankly, that it is hypocritical, dangerous and shameful. “
As for the possibility of Democrats acting alone to raise the debt ceiling through the reconciliation process, Biden suggested it would take too long and the process could be accident-prone.
“We don’t have time to linger with elaborate procedural schemes, which require Republican proposals: dozens of votes without any certainty, any of which has nothing to do with the debt limit. That’s when accidents happen, ”he said.
Later pressured by Trends Wide’s Jeremy Diamond on Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s hesitation to pass that bill through the reconciliation process, Biden agreed that process is “riddled with everything. kind of potential miscalculation dangers “and it’s” incredibly complicated. “
Biden sought to explain in layman’s terms that “only Congress” can raise or lower the debt limit, and that this latest measure would account for old debts, not new ones like his broad economic agenda, which is currently stuck in Congress. .
“Raising the debt limit is about paying off our old debts. It has nothing to do with the consideration of new expenses. It has to do with my infrastructure plan or rebuild better: zero, zero, which, I must add, are paid. So if we are going to comply with what has already been approved by previous congresses and previous presidents and parties, we have to pay for it, “said Biden.
He outlined what is paid by raising the debt limit, including veterans benefits, Social Security benefits, and salaries for members of the US Armed Forces.
Failure to comply, Biden warned, “would take our economy over a cliff” and “undermine the security of US Treasury securities.” and it would “threaten the reserve status of the dollar as a world currency,” suggesting that the US credit rating could be lowered and interest rates would rise if Congress does not act.
When asked if he received a letter from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday, Biden said he had read it.
“I plan to talk to Mitch [McConell] about it, “Biden said, adding that he looked forward to having an” honest conversation “with him about it.
And then when asked if he could guarantee that the United States would not reach the debt ceiling, Biden said, “No, I can’t, that’s up to Mitch McConnell … I can’t believe those are the bottom line, because the consequences are so dire. I don’t think so, but can I guarantee it? If I could, I would, but I can’t. ”