Yellen delivers in-person warning to US House members on debt ceiling

  • Yellen, in budget testimony before the Republican-controlled House Ways and Means Committee, said that failure to increase the $31.4 trillion borrowing cap would threaten the economic progress that the United States has made since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reuters
Updated10 Mar 2023
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen prepares to testify before the Senate Finance Committee on the administration's proposed budget for fiscal year 2024, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, March 10, 2023. (Photo by Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP)
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen prepares to testify before the Senate Finance Committee on the administration’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2024, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, March 10, 2023. (Photo by Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP)(AFP)

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen urged members of the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday to raise the federal debt ceiling without conditions, warning that a default on US debt would cause an "economic and financial catastrophe."

Yellen, in budget testimony before the Republican-controlled House Ways and Means Committee, said that failure to increase the $31.4 trillion borrowing cap would threaten the economic progress that the United States has made since the COVID-19 pandemic.

"In my assessment - and that of economists across the board - a default on our debt would trigger an economic and financial catastrophe," Yellen said in prepared remarks. "I urge all members of Congress to come together to address the debt limit – without conditions and without waiting until the last minute.

Some Republicans have demanded spending concessions from U.S. President Joe Biden in exchange for raising the debt ceiling. Yellen has refused to negotiate over raising the debt ceiling, arguing that it is about making good on Congress' past spending decisions.

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