Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sounded rattled when she was asked about her actions towards colleagues on the possibility of the debt ceiling being raised. The reporter asked ‘why get mad at members, why twist the arms of moderates if this is not going to move anywhere?”
Pelosi responded in an agitated manner, saying: “What are you talking about? We have a responsibility to uphold… to lift up the full faith and credit of the United States of America. That’s what we have to do. These members have all voted for this last week… so if they’re concerned about how it’s going to be in an ad, it’s already in an ad. Let us give every confidence every step of the way. We cannot predicate our actions in the House on what could happen in the Senate. We can when we’re coming to an agreement on a bill. But in terms of this, I have no patience for people not voting for this.”
Numerous Democrats have called to raise the debt ceiling while facing mounting criticism from Republicans, who appear willing to raise the debt ceiling but only through reconciliation and not by way of Democrat choice. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) says the Democrats “cannot and will not” raise the borrowing limit as part of a spending bill.
“Now in solving this crisis, this body cannot and will not go through a drawn-out unpredictable process sought by the minority leader, Schumer said. “To do this through reconciliation requires ping-ponging separate bills back from the Senate and the House.” Schumer called it “uncharted waters” and appeared to be strongly against the strategy suggested by Republicans.
Pelosi snaps at a reporter questioning her strategy on the debt ceiling: “What are you talking about?!” pic.twitter.com/1vsgvDkGjS
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) September 29, 2021
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned of catastrophic default if Congress did not raise or suspend the debt limit by October 18, the date Yellen insisted that the government might run out of money. Yellen explained: “At that point, we expect the Treasury would be left with very limited resources that would be depleted quickly. It is uncertain whether we could continue to meet all the nation’s commitments after that date.”
As of now, and much to Schumer’s dismay, the GOP would like to force Democrats into raising the debt ceiling by reconciliation, a process lightly described by Bruce Bartlett, a former policy advisor for then-President Ronald Reagan, as the following:
Nearly a half-century ago, policymakers genuinely concerned about deficits tried to create an improved budgetary system, culminating in the Budget Act of 1974. It requires Congress, at intervals, to set a limit on the federal debt. When the limit needs to be increased, specific congressional action is required — raising it can’t be just an automatic part of the appropriations process. The law created a mechanism called “reconciliation” that would facilitate deficit reduction by preventing a Senate filibuster for legislation that would affect the debt.
Republicans have already blocked a bill that would fund the government until early December and suspend the debt ceiling until sometime in 2022.
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