Washington, D.C. — Government watchdog Accountable.US released an analysis today showing around half of sitting Republican senators voted for three debt limit suspensions with little complaint during the Trump administration as it added over $7 trillion in federal debt — including most of the party’s current leadership. It comes as over 145 congressional Republicans have promised to hold the debt ceiling hostage — echoing the 2011 fight that resulted in the first U.S. credit downgrade in history and huge losses in the stock market.
“During the Trump era, Republicans in Congress never blinked when suspending the debt ceiling over and over and doling out trillions of dollars in tax breaks to millionaires and big corporations — giveaways that never trickled down to anyone else,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “Now, these Republicans are promising to hold the process hostage and keep the nation from meeting its obligations even though 97% of the current debt was incurred before Joe Biden became president.”
“These obstructionists are running up a considerable deficit of credibility with their newfound, politically motivated concerns over spending,” added Herrig. “Mitch McConnell and company think their threats to tank the economy will hurt the president politically, but it will only hurt everyday Americans struggling to get ahead during the pandemic — and the public will know who to blame.”
Unless Congress acts, the federal government is expected to be unable to meet its financial obligations sometime in the fall of 2021. One estimate shows that 97% of the current federal debt was incurred before President Biden ever assumed office. While Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned of “absolutely catastrophic“ consequences for financial markets and average Americans, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell insists Republicans are “united in opposition to raising the debt ceiling,” dusting off their old obstructionist playbook from the Obama-era that harmed the economy.
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