The White House demanded on Friday that the debt ceiling be increased unconditionally, setting the stage for what is sure to be a bloody battle with House Republicans in the coming months.
“We think that over the years and decades, there has been bipartisan agreement on the debt ceiling. And it ought to be accomplished in a nonpartisan manner. And it ought to be carried out without hesitation. This is significant,” said Karine Jean-Pierre, the press secretary.
Jean-remarks Pierre’s followed a letter from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) warning that the country is likely to reach its $31.4 trillion borrowing limit in less than a week and that the department would soon have to start taking “extraordinary measures” to buy time for Congress to avoid default.
According to Yellen, those steps would likely afford lawmakers time to come to a compromise until early June.
Republicans will likely try to reduce or modify government spending by using the impending debt crisis. Although many in the GOP have tried to distance themselves from discussion of eliminating Social Security or Medicare, two popular programs, a campaign by numerous conservatives for promised expenditure cutbacks was at the center of the previous week’s election battle to nominate McCarthy Speaker.
However, Jean-Pierre has made it clear that the White House is not interested in participating in those negotiations, and any ideas of this nature that pass the GOP-controlled House are unlikely to pass the Democratic-controlled Senate. A U.S. default, according to White House officials, could have disastrous effects on the economy.
Jean-Pierre remarked, “This is not political gamesmanship. “This should be carried out with no restrictions. And that is how we envision this procedure progressing.
She said that, contrary to what Yellen had previously urged, there are now no discussions about completely getting rid of the debt ceiling.
The last time lawmakers raised the debt ceiling was in December 2021, when a package passed the Democratic-controlled House largely along party lines.