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A service for finance industry professionals · Thursday, October 28, 2021 · 554,960,948 Articles · 3+ Million Readers

Business, Civic Leaders, Financial Experts Urge Republicans to Take Responsibility & Vote to Address the Debt Limit  

After years of voting to suspend the debt limit under the Trump Administration and Republican Presidents, Congressional Republicans are refusing to work with Democrats to address the debt limit and ensure the United States pays its bills on time. Make no mistake – Republicans’ actions put the American economy at risk. Defaulting would hamper state and local governments’ abilities to provide essential services in communities across the country and lead to financial crisis for American workers and families just as they’re recovering from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite risking a global financial crisis in 2011 that led to a credit downgrade and impacted millions of American families, Congressional Republicans are once again playing political games with full knowledge of the economic harm at stake.

Even GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger has cautioned his fellow Republicans on the consequences of playing political games with the debt limit:  

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R, IL-16): “You cannot screw around with the debt limit...Even if you shut down government, as bad as that is, that doesn't default America's credit like the debt limit does...I certainly won't let the country go into default.” [9/16/21]
Organizations across the country are urging support for a bipartisan action on the debt limit:  

CIVIC GROUPS FROM ACROSS THE COUNTRY CALL FOR REPUBLICANS TO WORK WITH DEMOCRATS TO ADDRESS THE DEBT LIMIT

The United States Conference of Mayors: “Both parties in Washington have added to our debt, and both parties have an obligation to make sure the United States can continue to pay its bills. This is one of the most basic responsibilities of Congress, and there is no good reason for lawmakers to create a crisis that undermines the full faith and credit of the United States.” [9/17/21]

National League of Cities: “Cities, towns, and villages across America are starting to rebuild thanks to the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021’s (ARPA) Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, the CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund, and other necessary emergency funds. Hitting the debt ceiling could have negative implications for the U.S. economy that could have devastating downstream impacts on municipalities just as they are beginning to recover.” [9/20/21]

National Association of Counties: “Counties urge our federal partners to reach a bipartisan agreement and raise the debt limit, as has been the practice dozens of times before. We urge bipartisan support for fiscal policies that strengthen the federal-state-local partnership and help us achieve our shared goals of keeping communities healthy, safe and vibrant.” [9/20/21]  

BUSINESS LEADERS URGE ACTION TO PREVENT ECONOMIC RISKS

Business Roundtable“Failure to lift the U.S. federal debt limit to meet U.S. obligations would produce an otherwise avoidable crisis and pose unacceptable risk to the nation’s economic growth, job creation and financial markets.” [9/15/21]

Goldman Sachs: “A failure to raise the debt limit would have serious negative consequences. While it seems likely that the Treasury would continue to redeem maturing Treasury securities and make coupon payments, if Congress does not raise the debt limit by the deadline the Treasury would need to halt more than 40% of expected payments, including some payments to households.” [9/13/21]

American Bankers Association“Defaulting on our existing obligations would be irresponsible and do irreparable harm to the U.S. economy and taxpayers…We respectfully urge you to act and take the critical steps necessary to protect our nation’s financial standing in the world. Even a short-term delay would cause serious harm at a time when our economy continues to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.” [9/13/21]

Andy Jassy, Amazon CEO: “I think it’s scary for consumer confidence and for confidence in U.S. businesses and potential credit ratings if we don’t make sure that we [suspend the debt limit].” [9/14/21]  

ECONOMIC EXPERTS CAUTION REPUBLICAN INACTION COULD LEAD TO FINANCIAL IMPACTS FOR AMERICANS ACROSS THE COUNTRY  

Mark Zandi, Chief Economist at Moody’s Analytics: “It would be financial Armageddon…it would be complete craziness to even contemplate the idea of not paying our debt on time.” [9/8/21]

Isaac Boltansky, Director of Policy Research at Compass Point Research: "Playing politics with the debt ceiling is always a bad idea but it is a uniquely childish notion given where we are with the virus and the economic recovery." [9/8/21]

Seth Hanlon, Senior Fellow for Economic Policy at the Center for American Progress: “Political brinksmanship over the debt limit could become a serious problem for the U.S. and world economy if Senate Minority Leader McConnell and his colleagues continue their reckless threats.” [9/31/21]  

NEWS COVERAGE POINTS OUT MCCONNELL’S HYPOCRISY  

The Washington Post: “McConnell has declared that Senate Republicans will not vote to increase the Treasury’s authority to continue borrowing, which is the same as voting to allow a default. As he has done before, McConnell has essentially created a new rule out of whole cloth to justify his actions... In fact, almost every time the debt ceiling has been lifted, it has been done in bipartisan fashion under the regular Senate order that requires at least 60 votes to end debate on the legislation.” [9/18/21]

Catherine Rampell, Opinion Columnist at The Washington Post: “While Donald Trump was president, however, lawmakers suspended the debt ceiling several times. Democrats voted for these measures because they knew no good could come from a default. Today, Democrats demand Republicans do the same...” [9/20/21]

It’s time for Congressional Republicans to stop playing political games with the American economy, heed the words of the business community, and work alongside Democrats to responsibly ensure America pays its bills.

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