“In recent years Congress has addressed the debt limit through regular order, with broad bipartisan support. In fact, during the last administration, Democrats and Republicans came together to do their duty three times. Congress should do so again now by increasing or suspending the debt limit on a bipartisan basis,” Ms. Yellen said in a statement.
It is the first public position the Biden administration has taken on whether to raise the debt ceiling.
The statement comes just one week after the expiration of a two-year deal to suspend the debt ceiling, which established a legal limit on how much debt the government can owe.
Ms. Yellen‘s statement was issued the same day Democrats are scheduled to unveil their $3.5 trillion budget resolution, which could include instructions for raising the debt limit.
Democrats are considering pushing the measure through by using a process that requires support only from members of their party. That process, known as reconciliation, would require 50 votes to pass the measure in the Senate.
Republicans have expressed frustration over Democrats’ intent to use reconciliation for the debt ceiling.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has threatened to block any Democratic effort to pass the budget without GOP support.
“If they don’t need or want input, they won’t get our help with the debt limit increase that these reckless plans will require,” the Kentucky Republican said last week. “I could not be more clear.”
Regardless of what lawmakers decide, President Biden is going to have to tackle the debt ceiling this fall and decide to either raise or suspend the limit.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters last week, the president believes the debt limit should be raised, but also called for Congress to work together.
“The president believes Democrats and Republicans should move forward as they did three times during the last administration to raise the debt ceiling,” she said.
• Jeff Mordock can be reached at email@example.com.
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