Dear Colleague on Bipartisan Action on Debt Limit

September 19, 2021
Press Release

Dear Democratic Colleague,

Tomorrow, the House returns to session to prepare to pass President Biden’s transformative vision to Build Back Better.  As Majority Leader Hoyer’s recent dear colleague stated, our legislative agenda also includes the Women’s Health Protection Act, the National Defense Authorization Act, the Continuing Resolution to avoid a needless government shutdown and provide emergency funding to help those devastated by the recent natural disasters as well as help resettle our Afghan evacuees, and the bipartisan infrastructure bill.

We will also be addressing the lifting of the debt ceiling.  Congress, as always, is ironclad in its commitment to never letting the full faith and credit of the United States come under threat.  This commitment has long been bipartisan.  Indeed, since 2011, every time the debt limit has needed to be raised, Congress has addressed it on a bipartisan basis, including three times during the last Administration.  When we take up the debt limit this month, we expect it to be bipartisan once more.

Addressing the debt limit is about meeting obligations the government has already made, including the bipartisan COVID relief legislation from December, as well as vital payments to Social Security recipients and our veterans.

The failure to raise the debt limit would, as Treasury Secretary Yellen recently stated “have absolutely catastrophic economic consequences.  It would be utterly unprecedented in American history for the United States government to default on its legal obligations.  I believe it would precipitate a financial crisis.  It would threaten the jobs and savings of Americans, and at a time when we are still recovering from the COVID pandemic.”  This situation would be “financial Armageddon,” according to Mark Zandi, Chief Economist at Moody’s.  And it could “cause an immediate, literally cascading catastrophe of unbelievable proportions and damage America for 100 years,” as JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon recently stated.

In 2019, when supporting suspending the debt ceiling, Leader McConnell stated that doing so “ensures our federal government will not approach any sort of short-term debt crisis in the coming weeks or months.  It secures our nation’s full-faith and credit and ensures that Congress will not throw this kind of unnecessary wrench into the gear of our job growth and thriving economy.”

The debt limit is a shared responsibility, and I urge Congress to come together, in that spirit, on a bipartisan basis as it has in the past to protect the full faith and credit of the United States.

Thank you for your leadership.

NANCY