You have undoubtedly heard about the crisis facing our country regarding the “debt ceiling.” Right now, Congress is in a countdown to pass legislation needed to stop our government from defaulting on its debts.
The legislation concerns the “debt limit” or “debt ceiling.” The debt ceiling basically means that Congress must authorize more borrowing to pay off the bills it has already racked up — and if the debt ceiling is not raised, the country will default on those bills.
This is not new spending – it is money that Congress had already authorized to be spent. Many believe that the future of our entire economic system is at stake, but getting the two sides together to negotiate the needed legislation has been, and continues to be, extremely difficult. Instead, Republicans and Democrats seem to be playing a painfully slow game of chicken, each waiting for the other to flinch.
According to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, if the government reaches the debt ceiling without new legislation to raise it, "It is unlikely that the federal government would be able to issue payments to millions of Americans, including our military families and seniors who rely on Social Security."
If nothing happens and nobody blinks, the country will face its biggest financial crisis in history. If the US defaults on its debt, the stock market could crash, millions would likely lose their jobs, and US Treasury bonds, key assets in global finance, would suddenly be plunged into chaos.
The fact is, the debt limit has been raised over 100 times since it was put in place by Congress decades ago, including three times during the Trump Administration.
President Biden has said he wants a “clean” bill to raise the debt ceiling with no conditions attached. But the Republican majority in the House of Representatives wants to use any bill to raise the debt ceiling to include major cuts in federal spending.
In late April, Speaker of the House McCarthy announced that the GOP expects to pass a bill to raise the debt ceiling before the end of the month. However, the bill contains cuts to programs Democrats have said they will not support. So, unless the two sides sit down and negotiate a bill that both sides can accept, the crisis will continue, even as the anticipated deadline of sometime in June quickly approaches.
TSCL urges you to contact your Senators and Representatives and tell them to sit down and negotiate with the other side and solve this crisis before it is too late.
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For progress updates or more information about these and other bills that would strengthen Social Security and Medicare programs, visit our website at www.SeniorsLeague.org or follow TSCL on Facebook or Twitter.