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national debt

October 6, 2021

Pentagon officials say national security at risk

Top Pentagon officials, including Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, warn that a default on the national debt would threaten national security and harm military members and families.

“If the United States defaults, it would undermine the economic strength on which our national security rests,” Austin said. “It would also seriously harm our service members and their families because, as Secretary, I would have no authority or ability to ensure that our service members, civilians, or contractors would be paid in full or on time.”

Six former Defense secretaries sent a separate letter to Congress on Wednesday echoing the same concerns. The group implored legislators “to work together to raise the statutory debt limit and avoid catastrophic consequences for the Defense Department, our military families, and our position of leadership in the world.”

In July, the US reached its borrowing limit, and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that leadership must raise the debt ceiling by Oct. 18 or risk a historic, catastrophic default.

Austin outlined what’s at stake in the event Congress fails to act, including the benefits “earned by and owed to 2.4 million military retirees and 400,000 survivors.”

The group of six former Pengaton chiefs says if the US fails to pay its millions of service members, “we will not have a highly capable military to fight and win the nation’s wars.”

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Pentagon chiefs say debt default could risk national security

September 28, 2021

Yellen: US government will run out of money in less than three weeks

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned bipartisan members of Congress that the federal government will likely run out of money by October 18 unless lawmakers raise or suspend the debt ceiling.

If the US were to default on the national debt, it would lead to potentially catastrophic economic consequences.

“It is uncertain whether we could continue to meet all the nation’s commitments after that date,” Yellen wrote.

Yellen’s warning comes hours after Senate Republicans blocked a bill that would have suspended the debt ceiling.

“We know from previous debt limit impasses that waiting until the last minute can cause serious harm to business and consumer confidence, raise borrowing costs for taxpayers, and negatively impact the credit rating of the United States for years to come,” the Treasury Secretary wrote.

“Failure to act promptly could also result in substantial disruptions to financial markets, as heightened uncertainty can exacerbate volatility and erode investor confidence,” Yellen added.

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Yellen warns Congress has just three weeks before US expected to default

September 9, 2021

Conflicting info on $3.5T infrastructure bill from Pelosi, White House

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki both provided comments on the $3.5 trillion infrastructure package on Wednesday, but their information seems to conflict.

When asked about negotiations over the measure’s budget size, Psaki said it “is going to be paid for.”

“This is going to be paid for. That is something the president is committed to, something Senator Manchin has called for as well. The real choice right now is whether you’re going to lower costs for people in this country on elder care, child care, cost of college or whether you’re going to allow the wealthiest Americans and corporations to continue to pay the tax rates that are hardly fair moving forward,” Psaki said during a press briefing.

Earlier in the day, Pelosi said that amount was “maybe” half.

“We will pay for more than half maybe all of the legislation,” Pelosi said. “We will be taking some responsibility to pay for what is in there. So the cost for the future will be much lower than any 3.5.”

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Psaki vs Pelosi: White House says $3.5B package ‘will be paid for,’ speaker suggests otherwise

September 9, 2021

Treasury Secretary raises alarm over nation’s debt ceiling

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is raising the alarm over the nation’s borrowing limit that could set off a worldwide economic crisis if Congress fails to take action.

Yellen warned congressional leaders on Wednesday that the US could potentially default on its debt in October. There is now reportedly a scramble to determine how to raise the debt ceiling in time.

“The time for Congress to act is now to make sure the U.S. does not come close to defaulting on some of its obligations,” said Rachel Snyderman, associate director at the Bipartisan Policy Center, a think tank that monitors the debt limit. “But what’s concerning right now is that there are so many important priorities at play.”

Republicans vowed to withhold votes for the debt ceiling, though they helped suspend it under former President Donald Trump.

“Democrats control Washington now. They can raise the debt limit on their own,” said Doug Andres, a spokesman for Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), on Wednesday.

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Yellen triggers alarm bells over debt ceiling cliff 

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