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Neal & Yarmuth Urge President Trump to Ensure U.S. Does Not Default on its Obligations

Mar 13, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA) and Budget Committee Ranking Member John Yarmuth (D-KY) today sent a letter to President Trump urging him to assure that the United States will not default on its obligations, and outline his plan to work with Congress to raise the debt limit. Last year, Congress suspended the debt limit until March 16, 2017.

“It is imperative that you, like all of your predecessors, send a clear message that the United States will continue to pay its debts, on time, and in full,” the members wrote to the President.

“We need to raise the debt limit to keep promises we have already made to the American people. These promises include paying Social Security and Medicare benefits for our seniors, paying our troops in harm’s way, providing health care for our veterans, paying American businesses for goods and services they have already provided, compensating federal employees for their work, and paying interest due on U.S. Treasury bonds.

“You have promised the American people that you will not support Republican proposals to cut Social Security and Medicare.  We would remind you that a failure to raise the debt limit would also prevent us from honoring those promises to seniors.”

In previous Congresses, some Republican Members of Congress have downplayed the consequences of defaulting on the country’s obligations, and recent debt limit crises led to the first downgrade in the country’s credit rating, reduced balances in investment and retirement accounts, and increased borrowing costs. In the letter, Neal and Yarmuth ask the President “to clearly disavow this reckless and harmful position and affirm your commitment to a clean bill that honors the full faith and credit of the United States.”

Neal and Yarmuth also request that if the President is unable to convince Congressional Republicans to quickly raise the debt limit, “you must provide clear information to Congress and the financial markets not only about your plan to use extraordinary measures, but, as the previous Administration did, about how long those measures might delay a default.”

Read the full letter here.

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