Washington (EFE).- The Secretary of the US Treasury, Janet Yellen, informed Congress this Friday that if an agreement is not reached to raise or suspend the debt ceiling, the Government may suffer the suspension of payments next 5th June.
In a letter to House Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Yellen thus raised by four days the date her department estimated for the end of reserves to meet its payment obligations, and insisted on demand that legislators act “as soon as possible” to avoid it.
“Waiting until the last minute to raise the debt ceiling can cause serious damage to business and consumer confidence,” added the economist.
Yellen recalled that her department has to disburse 130,000 million dollars in payments to Social Security, veterans and Medicaid recipients, the government health program, in the first two days of June, which will leave the coffers “at a level of extremely low resources.
And that level, he warned, will not allow the Treasury to meet obligations scheduled for the week of June 5, such as another payment of 92,000 million to Social Security and Medicaid.
A shock to families and the global position of the US.
If Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling by the deadline, the Treasury secretary stressed, American families will experience “great hardship, the global position of the United States will be harmed.” and doubts will be raised about the country’s ability to protect its national security interests.
Talks between congressional Republicans and the White House continued on Friday, with no official announcement that a compromise has yet been reached.
The managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kristalina Georgieva, also demanded an agreement as soon as possible on Friday.
“We are looking forward to seeing a resolution,” said Georgieva, who suggested the possibility that the US eliminate the rule that there is a debt ceiling so that scenarios like the current one do not occur.
Without invoking Amendment 14
The undersecretary of the United States Treasury Department, Wally Adeyemo, pointed out that there is no “plan b” if an agreement is not reached between the White House and the Republicans to raise the country’s debt ceiling.
In an interview with CNN, Adeyemo assured that the Treasury does not have an alternative plan that allows the US to “continue to comply” with its commitments to “debtors, veterans (…) and the American people.”
The “number two” of the Treasury portfolio ruled out the possibility that President Joe Biden invoke Amendment 14 of the Constitution to unblock the deadlock in talks and that would allow the debt ceiling to be raised without going through Congress.
“Invoking Amendment 14 to raise the debt ceiling as a way of avoiding negotiations is not an option,” Adeyemo concluded.
Speaking to the press during his trip to Japan last week, Biden was not averse to using the power that the amendment to the Constitution confers on him to raise the debt ceiling, and members within his own party have also asked him to do so. make.
The 14th amendment establishes that the validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, will not be questioned. And the president could rely on it arguing that he has a constitutional duty to avoid non-payment.
A deal on debt
While talks continue, lawmakers will go on a short Memorial Day recess until Tuesday. However, they will be notified if they have to appear on Capitol Hill for a vote if a deal is announced, CNN reported.
As he left the Capitol on Thursday night, the president of Congress, Republican Kevin McCarhty, said that the negotiations with the Biden government “are not easy.”
For her part, White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre reiterated her message on Thursday that a suspension of payments “is not on the table.”
Unlike most countries, the United States can only borrow up to the limit set by Congress – the debt ceiling – which requires legislative agreement each time the country needs to raise it to pay off its debts.