President Joe Biden on Monday told Republican senators to “get out of the way” and let Democrats suspend the nation’s debt limit on their own, hoping to keep the U.S. government from coming dangerously close to a credit default as Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell refuses to lend his party’s help.
Biden’s criticism comes as Congress faces an Oct 18 deadline to allow for more borrowing to keep the government operating after having accrued a total public debt of $28.4 trillion. The House has passed a measure to suspend the debt limit, but McConnell is forcing Senate Democrats into a cumbersome process that could drag on for weeks and brush up against a deadline with little margin for error.
Both Biden and McConnell have promised the country will avoid default, yet the public fight and political posturing risks an economic meltdown. The global economy relies on the stability of U.S. Treasury notes, and unpaid debt could crush financial markets and hurl America into recession.
“They need to stop playing Russian roulette with the U.S. economy,” Biden said at the White House. “Republicans just have to let us do our job. Just get out of the way. If you don’t want to help save the country, get out of the way so you don’t destroy it.”