Treasury secretary warns of dire consequences if debt ceiling deal isn't reached

 May 22, 2023

America's June 1 debt ceiling deadline is rapidly approaching, with no agreement between the president and Capitol Hill Republicans having been reached.

That fact has one prominent Biden administration figure warning of dire consequences if a deal isn't reached. 

Treasury secretary says there are "acceptable outcomes if the debt ceiling isn't raised"

According to USA Today, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said during a Sunday interview with NBC's "Meet The Press" that America would be left unable to fund everything from Social Security and Medicare to the military.

"There can be no acceptable outcomes if the debt ceiling isn't raised, regardless of what decisions we make," the Treasury secretary insisted.

"Since 1789, the United States has a history of paying its bills on time. That's what the world wants to see. A continued commitment to do that--it's what underlies U.S. Treasury securities as the safest investment on the planet," Yellen explained.

Unclear exactly when government will actually run out of funds

Still, the Treasury secretary acknowledged that the government will have enough money to function after June 1, although it is not clear for how long.

"There's always uncertainty about tax receipts and spending," USA Today quoted her as saying. "And so it's hard to be absolutely certain about this, but my assessment is that the odds of reaching June 15, while being able to pay all of our bills, is quite low."

USA Today noted that for his part, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy told Fox News' "Sunday Morning Futures" that blame for the crisis lies with the White House.

He complained that Joe Biden would "rather be the first president in history to default on the debt than to risk upsetting the radical socialists who are calling the shots for Democrats right now."

House speaker: President wants more spending than "at the height of the pandemic"

McCarthy also accused Biden of wanting to spend "more money than we spent at the height of the pandemic," adding, "We just can't afford to keep borrowing from China and be more dependent and create more inflation."

Those words came after a tweet earlier this week in which McCarthy said that "radical socialists" are "calling the shots for Democrats right now."

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