As the White House begins turning up the pressure on Republicans as negotiations drag on over the debt ceiling, business experts are joining progressive Democrats to urge President Joe Biden to call Sen. Mitch McConnell’s bluff and remove the debt limit to save the economy.
Republicans, led by McConnell (R-KY), have been using the debt limit as a political cudgel for Republicans to use against Democratic administrations. Now, Wall Street allies are urging the White House to take unilateral action and dare McConnell to stop them.
Biden called out GOP senators as “hypocritical, dangerous, and disgraceful,” as White House press secretary Jen Psaki highlighted their deficit spending under Donald Trump, and they’re placing the blame for any financial cataclysm to come squarely on Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, Politico reports.
“If you don’t want to help save the country, get out of the way so you don’t destroy it,” Biden said Monday.
So far the president’s allies on Wall Street remain on board and agree that Democrats should keep pushing to avoid debt default.
“To me this is insanity that Republicans who talk like they are so pro-business are screwing around with the full faith and credit of the U.S. government,” said Robert Wolf, former chief executive of UBS Americas and an Obama economic adviser. “This shouldn’t be the polarizing issue that everyone is talking about and working on. You want to have a fight over policy — infrastructure and climate action and healthcare benefits — then have that fight. But I don’t think you want to have a fight over the debt ceiling.”
Some progressives are urging the White House to take immediate action.
“Just raise it to an absurd number and tell people ‘Yeah, we effectively abolished it, and now we’re like every other rich nation on earth in that we’re not afflicted by this dumb law anymore,'” said Josh Bivens, director of research at the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute.
Bivens urged the White House to take unilateral action and dare McConnell to stop them.
“In the end, I think everybody is frantic about avoiding a political ‘hit’ from this that is not even a love tap,” Bivens said. “I just don’t think that people care about the debt limit. They care about the economy and how their lives are going.”