President Biden on Wednesday resorted to histrionics, saying that a “meteor” could crash into the US economy if Congress doesn’t raise the government’s debt ceiling — even as Republicans noted that Democrats can simply lift the spending cap on their own.
Biden insisted Republicans could cause the US to default on its debt after an Oct. 18 deadline as he attempted to undercut conservative pressure on Democrats to own the vote as they push for trillions in new spending.
“The United States is the financial rock the world looks to and trusts. Now in one cynical destructive partisan ploy — just for politics — our Republican friends are teetering on that brink here. They are threatening to boot that all away,” Biden said at a virtual gathering with business leaders.
“Now it’s a meteor headed to crash into our economy. We should all want to stop it and stop it immediately. This shouldn’t be partisan.”
Biden said “raising the debt limit is paying our old debts. There’s nothing to do with new spending.”
He added, “Our markets are rattled. America’s savings are on the line. The American people — your savings, your pocketbook — are directly impacted by this stunt … Our Republican friends need to stop playing Russian roulette with the US economy.”
Biden didn’t take questions from reporters and the White House’s video feed cut off mid-sentence after business leaders including JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon offered support for Biden’s stance.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has called on Democrats to use special budget reconciliation rules to raise the debt ceiling with a simple majority vote in the evenly divided Senate.
“Republicans’ position is simple. We have no list of demands. For two and a half months, we have simply warned that since your party wishes to govern alone, it must handle the debt limit alone as well,” McConnell said Monday.
As the president was speaking, the minority leader called Democrats’ bluff over the issue, saying: “We have already made it clear we would assist in expediting the 304 reconciliation process for stand-alone debt-limit legislation. To protect the American people from a near-term Democrat-created crisis, we will also allow Democrats to use