April 26, 2023

House Democrats Across the Caucus Call for Congress to Reject Republican Debt Ceiling Demands and Avoid Economic Default

House Dems Demand a Clean Debt Ceiling Increase and Separately “Welcome an Open and Productive Debate…on Approaches to Address both Federal Spending and Revenues"

Today, led by Representatives Brendan F. Boyle (PA-02), Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee, Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and Annie Kuster (NH-02), Chair of the New Democrat Coalition, Members from across the House Democratic Caucus called on Republicans to uphold their obligation to protect the full faith and credit of the United States by lifting the debt ceiling “without any extraneous policies attached.”

The lawmakers also emphasize, “separate from the lifting of the debt ceiling, House Democrats have welcomed an open and productive debate through the normal budgetary process on approaches to address both federal spending and revenues that do not involve the threat of nonpayment of funds already appropriated by law.” The House Democrats underscore that Congressional Republicans voted to raise the debt ceiling on three separate occasions under President Trump.

The catastrophic impact of breaching the debt ceiling cannot be overstated. Moody’s Analytics projects a prolonged breach would lead to a 4 percent decline in GDP, 7 million jobs lost with unemployment above 8 percent, and roughly $10 trillion in household wealth wiped out. The specter of default would haunt the U.S. economy, with GDP a full percentage point lower a decade after the crisis and 900,000 jobs never regained. Additionally, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that a default would cause a recession in the U.S. economy and ultimately could cause a global financial crisis. 

The letter reads in part:

“Although [Republicans] recently stated that ‘the greatest threat to our future is our national debt,’ we note with puzzlement that Congressional Republicans voted to pass the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) in 2017, which the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated would increase the federal deficit by $1.9 trillion over 10 years, with 83 percent of the law’s benefits estimated to accrue to the richest 1 percent by 2027. The first act of House Republicans in the 118th Congress under your Speakership was passing legislation — which Democrats unanimously opposed — to rescind funding for I.R.S. enforcement against tax evasion by wealthy individuals and large corporations. The CBO estimated that by reducing revenue, that legislation would increase the deficit by $114 billion over 10 years. In fact, the Republican agenda would increase the debt by over $3 trillion.”

House Democrats make it clear that while they welcome debate on spending and economic responsibility, negotiations over spending must be distinct from the threat of economic default, and any cuts to Social Security and Medicare are ‘off the table.’

The full text of the letter can be found here.

The signatories of the letter include Representatives Brendan Boyle (PA-02), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Ann Kuster (NH-02), Alma S. Adams Ph.D. (NC-12), Colin Z. Allred (TX-32), Jake Auchincloss (MA-04), Becca Balint (VT-AL), Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44), Joyce Beatty (OH-03), Ami Bera, M.D. (CA-06), Donald S. Beyer Jr. (VA-08), Sanford Bishop (GA-02), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-AL), Suzanne Bonamici(OR-01), Jamaal Bowman, Ed.D. (NY-17), Julia Brownley (CA-26), Shontel Brown (OH-11), Nikki Budzinski (IL-13), Cori Bush (MO-01), Yadira Caraveo M.D. (CO-08), Salud Carbajal (CA-24), Tony Cárdenas (CA-29), André Carson (IN-07), Troy Carter (LA-02), Matt Cartwright (PA-08), Greg Casar (TX-35), Sean Casten (IL-06), Kathy Castor (FL-14), Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (FL-20), Judy Chu (CA-28), David N. Cicilline (RI-01), Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09), Emanuel Cleaver II (MO-05), Steve Cohen (TN-09), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Gerald E. Connolly (VA-11), J. Luis Correa (CA-46), Joe Courtney (CT-02), Angie Craig (MN-02), Jasmine Crockett (TX-30), Jason Crow (CO-06), Sharice L. Davids (KS-03), Danny K. Davis (IL-07), Madeleine Dean (PA-04), Diana DeGette (CO-01), Rosa L. DeLauro (CT-03), Suzan K. DelBene (WA-01), Christopher Deluzio (PA-17), Mark DeSaulnier( CA-10), Debbie Dingell (MI-06), Lloyd Doggett (TX-37), Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Anna G. Eshoo (CA-16), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Dwight Evans (PA-03), Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07), Bill Foster (IL-11), Valerie P. Foushee (NC-04), Lois Frankel (FL-22), Maxwell Alejandro Frost (FL-10), Ruben Gallego (AZ-03). John Garamendi (CA-08), Jesús G. "Chuy"García (IL-04), Robert Garcia (CA-42), Sylvia R. Garcia (TX-29), Daniel Goldman (NY-10), Jimmy Gomez (CA-34), Vicente Gonzalez (TX-34), Al Green (TX-09), Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-07), Josh Harder (CA-09), Jahana Hayes (CT-05), Bria Higgins (NY-26), James A. Himes (CT-04), Steven Horsford (NV-04), Val Hoyle (OR-04), Jared Huffman (CA-02), Glenn Ivey (MD-04), Jeff Jackson (NC-14), Jonathan L. Jackson (IL-01), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Sara Jacobs (CA-51), Henry C. “Hank”  Johnson (GA-04), Sydney Kamlager-Dove (CA-37), Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), William R. Keating (MA-09), Robin L. Kelly (IL-02) , Ro Khanna (CA-17), Daniel T. Kildee (MI-08), Derek Kilmer (WA-06), Andy Kim (NJ-03), Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08), Greg Landsman (OH-01), Rick Larsen (WA-02), John B. Larson (CT-01), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Summer Lee (PA-12), Susie Lee (NV-03), Teresa Leger Fernández (NM-03), Mike Levin (CA-49), Ted W. Lieu (CA-36), Zoe Lofgren (CA-18), Stephen F. Lynch (MA-08), Seth Magaziner (RI-02), Kathy Manning (NC-06), Doris Matsui (CA-07), Lucy McBath (GA-07), Jennifer L. McClellan (VA-04), Betty McCollum (MN-04), Morgan McGarvey (KY-03), James P. McGovern (MA-02), Gregory W. Meeks (NY-05), Robert J. Menendez (NJ-08), Grace Meng (NY-06), Kweisi Mfume (MD-07), Gwen S. Moore (WI-04), Joseph D. Morelle (NY-25), Jared Moskowitz (FL-23), Seth Moulton (MA-06), Frank J. Mrvan (IN-01), Kevin Mullin (CA-15), Jerrold Nadler (NY-12), Grace F. Napolitano (CA-31), Richard Neal (MA-01), Joe Neguse (CO-02), Wiley Nickel (NC-13), Donald Norcross (NJ-01), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-AL), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), Chris Pappas (NH-01), Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-09), Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10), Brittany Pettersen (CO-07), Dean Phillips (MN-03), Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Stacey E. Plaskett (VI-AL), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Katie Porter (CA-47), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Mike Quigley (IL-05), Delia C. Ramirez (IL-03), Jamie Raskin (MD-08), Deborah K. Ross (NC-02), Raul Ruiz (CA-25), C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02), Patrick K. Ryan (NY-18), Andrea Salinas (OR-05), Linda T. Sánchez (CA-38), John P. Sarbanes (MD-03), Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05), Janice Schakowsky (IL-09), Adam B. Schiff (CA-30), Bradley Scott Schneider (IL-10), Hillary J. Scholten (MI-03), Kim Schrier M.D. (WA-08), David Scott (GA-13), Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03), Terri A. Sewell (AL-07), Brad Sherman (CA-32), Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11), Elissa Slotkin (MI-07), Adam Smith (WA-09), Eric Sorensen (IL-17), Darren Soto (FL-09), Melanie Stansbury (NM-01), Greg Stanton (AZ-04), Haley M. Stevens (MI-11), Marilyn Strickland (WA-10), Eric Swalwell (CA-14), Emilia Strong Sykes (OH-13), Mark Takano (CA-39), Shri Thanedar (MI-13), Mike Thompson (CA-04), Dina Titus (NV-01), Rashida Tlaib (MI-12), Jill Tokuda (HI-02), Paul Tonko (NY-20), Norma J. Torres (CA-35), Ritchie Torres (NY-35), Lori Trahan (MA-03), David Trone (MD-06), Lauren Underwood (IL-14), Juan Vargas (CA-52), Gabe Vasquez (NM-02), Marc A. Veasey (TX-33), Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-07), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-25), Maxine Waters (CA-43), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Jennifer Wexton (VA-10), Susan Wild (PA-07), Nikema Williams (GA-05), and Frederica S. Wilson (FL-24).