What if Congress doesn’t raise its debt limit? What you need to know about the Democratic-Republican Showdown

Texas News Today

Debate over the debt cap (often called the debt cap) is heating up again on Capitol Hill. But government officials, business leaders and economists have warned that failure to deal with it in time could be disastrous.

What is the loan limit and why do you have it?

The limit is the maximum amount the United States can borrow to pay off its debt. If the amount of government debt reaches that limit and does not raise the limit, the United States will not be able to pay the debt and may default. When Congress raises or suspends debt limits, it does not green light new spending, but instead allows the Treasury to pay for previously approved spending.

The loan limit in the United States is more than 100 years. Established in 1917 by the Second Liberty Bond Act, it was set at $11.5 billion. Earlier, MPs had to personally approve all loan issuances. Later, the different types of loans were combined into a total debt limit in 1939, initially set at $45 billion. Since then, the country’s debt limit has been raised or suspended more than 100 times, according to the responsible federal budget committee.

Debt sanctions were recently addressed under President Donald Trump when Congress passed a bipartisan law suspending it for two years. When the suspension ended in 2021, the amount borrowed (about $6.5 trillion) during that period added up to $22 trillion in the previous loan limit, reaching $28.5 trillion on August 1.

What if Congress doesn’t raise its debt limit?

When the suspension ended, the Treasury began using so-called “special measures” to continue paying the invoices. Such measures include the suspension of sales of certain Treasury securities and the redemption or suspension of investments or reinvestments in certain funds.

When the special measures are exhausted, the treasury will spend the cash on hand. Without it (experts predict this could happen in October), the US government would be unable to meet its debt and would default. This has never happened in American history.

If the US government is unable to pay the invoice, millions of Americans will be affected. No Social Security payments will be made. US military and federal civilian employees are not paid. Veterans may see compensation or end pension payments. And the profits of the millions of Americans who provide food aid will stop.

What if America defaults?

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen wrote in the Wall Street Journal over the weekend that “the US default is likely to create a historic financial crisis that exacerbates the damage of the ongoing public health emergency.” decline and other financial crises. The current economic recovery will turn into a recession, with billions of dollars in growth and millions of jobs lost. . “

Financial services firm Moody’s Analytics said on Tuesday that the default was a “catastrophic blow” to the economic recovery, and that even if it is resolved quickly, Americans will default for generations. He said that he would pay the price. that analysisns If lawmakers continue to struggle after breaking the debt cap, nearly 6 million jobs will be lost, unemployment will rise to nearly 9%, stocks will drop by nearly a third, and households will lose $15 trillion. Shown that the property will be wiped out. ..

Even the default threat can have financial implications. In August 2011, a few days after the Obama administration reached an agreement with the Republican Parliament, the US credit rating was downgraded from AA+ to AAA for the first time in history by Standard & Poor’s. The credit agencies said the downgrade reflects the view that the “effectiveness, stability and predictability” of US policymaking and political agencies had weakened during the ongoing challenges.

How does the debate stack up between Democrats and Republicans?

For months, Democrats have called for a bipartisan approach to raising or suspending debt limits. But Republicans said Democrats would not get their support.

On Monday, Democratic leaders announced they would join Loan Limit on Temporary Expenditure Bill To run the government till December. The move would suspend loan sanctions until December 2022. That is, the MPs will not have to deal with it till the mid-term elections are over.

However, attempts to tie debt limits to government funding legislation, known as ongoing proposals, pose risks to lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

For Democrats, if the effort fails, it not only means a debt-sanctioning challenge, but could result in a government shutdown at the end of the month. Republicans vote against a law that combines raising or suspending debt limits with recorded financial risks in favor of shutting down the government. The unified law would also force members who oppose changes to the debt limit to vote against provisions they support, such as disaster relief and funds for Afghan refugees.

After the plan was revealed, Senator Mitch McConnell said in a release that Republicans would vote for a clean and ongoing solution with funding for Afghan refugees and disaster relief, but not raising the debt limit. The threshold increase was repeated without the support of the GOP.

With a 50-50 split in the Senate, Democrats need 10 Republicans to vote to support the bill. McConnell has proposed that the Democratic Party include a debt cap clause in its budget adjustment package. This would have allowed Democrats to suspend loan sanctions without Republican support. But Democrats still want a bipartisan approach. Ambiguous point in 10 days: Plan B.

What if Congress doesn’t raise its debt limit? What you need to know about the Democratic-Republican Showdown

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