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Biden Tells GOP to 'Get Out of the Way' on Debt Limit

McConnell says Dems must handle issue alone
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 4, 2021 5:25 PM CDT
Biden Tells GOP to 'Get Out of the Way' on Debt Limit
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell returns to his office from the Senate chamber before votes, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – President Biden on Monday urged Republican senators to “get out of the way” and let Democrats suspend the nation’s debt limit, hoping to keep the US government from bumping dangerously close to a credit default as Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell refuses to lend his party’s help. Biden’s criticism came with Congress facing an Oct 18 deadline to allow for more borrowing to keep the government operating after having accrued a total public debt of $28.4 trillion, the AP reports. The House has passed a measure to suspend the debt limit, but McConnell is forcing Senate Democrats into a cumbersome process that could drag on and approach the deadline with little margin for error.

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Both Biden and McConnell have promised that the country will avoid default, yet the public fight and political posturing risks an economic meltdown. The global economy relies on the stability of US Treasury notes, and unpaid debt could crush financial markets and hurl America into recession. Biden noted that the debt limit applies to borrowing that has already occurred, including under former President Donald Trump, and said Republicans are hurting the country by blocking the limit's suspension.

"They need to stop playing Russian roulette with the US economy," Biden said at the White House. "Republicans just have to let us do our job. Just get out of the way. If you don’t want to help save the country, get out of the way so you don’t destroy it." Unmoved, McConnell said Republicans had given the Democrats a roadmap for dealing with the debt ceiling with months of warning. "I suggest that our Democratic colleagues get moving," McConnell said at the Capitol. In a letter to the president, McConnell wrote: "For two and a half months, we have simply warned that since your party wishes to govern alone, it must handle the debt limit alone as well."

(Read more debt limit stories.)

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