Sunday, October 17, 2021

White House Warns Debt Limit Showdown Could Hurt States

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The White House is warning state and local governments about severe cuts to disaster relief, Medicaid, and infrastructure grants. money for school and other programs if Congress fails to raise America’s debt limit.
A fact sheet for state and local officials obtained by The Associated Press is an attempt to increase public pressure on Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. President Joe Biden has so far insisted on bipartisan backing to increase the debt ceiling that accrued almost entirely before taking office, but McConnell, R-Ky., Has not been shaken and has repeatedly said that the Democrats must act on their own.
The Treasury Department has taken extraordinary steps to keep the government running after the suspended debt ceiling was restored in August to a level of $ 22 trillion, roughly $ 6 trillion less than the current total debt burden. The Treasury’s extraordinary measures will be exhausted in October, creating the possibility of default.
The debt limit is the amount of money that Congress allows the Treasury to borrow to keep the government running.
It was suspended three times during the Trump administration and has been lifted dozens of times since 1960. Created at the beginning of World War I so that Congress no longer had to approve every bond issue, the debt limit has become a weapon. politics as indebtedness. it has increased dramatically in the last two decades.
With a total debt of $ 28.4 trillion, the government would be forced to make large cuts to programs unless borrowing restrictions are lifted or suspended. The risk of a recession and an oil tower in the financial market would make it difficult for states and cities to borrow, while wreaking havoc on public investment in pensions.
The Biden administration fact sheet argues that the pain would spread across states because many programs rely on federal dollars. The government’s ability to respond to natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes or forest fires would be reduced.
States would face severe Medicaid deficits because the federal government covers two-thirds of the costs. About 20% of Americans get their health insurance through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
Approximately $ 100 billion in infrastructure grants for roads, airports, and public transportation would be in jeopardy. The more than $ 50 billion for special education, school districts serving poorer students, and other programs would also be threatened, as would $ 30 billion in food assistance and $ 10 billion for public health.
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