U.S. hits the debt limit, setting June deadline as Capitol Hill fight intensifies


WASHINGTON – The U.S. government hit its statutory debt limit on Thursday. and the Treasury Department said it has begun. resorting to “extraordinary measures” to pay the bill.

In a letter to congressional leaders on Thursday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said. that these special financial tools to meet the country’s obligations. could continue until at least Monday, June 5. After they expire, Congress must act to prevent default.

Yellen said in the letter that “the length of time. that the extraordinary measures may last is subject to considerable uncertainty. including the challenge of predicting the payments. and receipts of the U.S. government in future months. I urge Congress to act immediately to safeguard. The full faith and credit of the United States.” ”

Yellen’s warning comes as the new Republican House majority.

Led by California Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Demands conservative policy concessions in the form of spending. Cuts to lift the debt ceiling.

“Let’s change our behavior now. Let’s sit down. He’s the president. We’re the majority in the House. The Democrats are the majority in the Senate. And that’s exactly how the founders designed Congress to work. To seek and find compromises. Commonsense compromises that give us a balanced returns to the budget.” McCarthy told reporters on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.

McCarthy, R-Calif., said raising. The debt limit with no strings attached is “completely off the table.” Adding that federal retirement programs should be cut to avoid bankruptcy. “Let’s sit down and figure out a place where we can protect Medicare. And Social Security for future generations. Let’s get our house in order.”

House Ways and Means Chair Jason Smith, R-Mod., joined McCarthy’s call to open talks with Biden.

“Instead of attacking his political opponents.

President Biden should spend this time working with House. Republicans to tackle the debt ceiling in a way that imposes some fiscal prudence. Otherwise, the president is scheduling America’s next debt crisis.” Said Smith, whose committee oversees tax and safety net spending.

But the White House has made clear what President Joe Biden’s proposal to lift the debt limit is: nothing.

“We should deal with no debt ceiling – no conditions. It is important. White House press secretary Karin Jean-Pierre told reporters. “We’re not going to discuss that.”

“This is another attempt by congressional. Republicans to make unpopular cuts to programs important to seniors. Middle-class and working families. Congress must and must act . There’s no excuse for a political freak,” he said Tuesday, dismissing the idea. That the federal government could breach the debt ceiling and decide which bills to pay.

McCarthy did not specify a list of demands to attach to a debt limit increase. He would need a House majority to pass such a measure. And put pressure on the Senate and the White House to negotiate. It’s not clear that, if anything, McCarthy has a passing vote.

Democrats seized on McCarthy’s comments. Along with House conservatives who say retirement spending should be reduced.

Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called it a “nonstarter.”

“It’s almost silly for Republicans in the House to put Medicare. And Social Security on the table as a condition for lifting the debt ceiling,” he said. “, there will be agreement that we can lift the debt ceiling in a responsible way.”

Still, any legislation to raise the debt limit would have to pass in the Senate. Which Democrats control with 51 votes and where 60 votes are needed to break a filibuster.

Senate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore. Said, Republicans are behaving like hostages.

“Republicans won the majority in the House. And are allowed to advocate for their priorities. but holding American families and the economy. Hostage like this is unacceptable,” he said. “Democrats will not relish these threats from Republicans. Especially to Medicare and Social Security. Republicans must stand up to the debt ceiling immediately.”

Some House GOP hard-liners say the debt limit shouldn’t be raised at all.

“We cannot raise the debt ceiling,” Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., said on Twitter Tuesday. “Democrats have spent our taxpayer money and devalued our currency. They have made their beds, so they must sleep there.”

The White House took aim at Biggs’ tweet on Wednesday.

“Reputation. Biggs is wrong to support. The destruction of billions of American livelihoods, 401k plans. And small businesses,” White House spokesman Andrew Bates said. will give historical impetus.”

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