Pelosi urges vote on debt ceiling in lame session to avoid risk

(Bloomberg) – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has signaled that Democrats will seek to extend the federal debt ceiling during the lame session of Congress, avoiding a possible tussle with Republicans that she says could threaten US credit rating.

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Even with the party’s control of the House undecided on Sunday after the Nov. 8 midterm elections, Pelosi cited Republican threats to use the debt ceiling extension “to cut” health insurance and the social Security.

“We’ll see what they claim they want to do,” Pelosi said on ABC’s “This Week.” “But our best shot, I think, is to do it now.”

An impasse over the debt limit in Congress would echo the crisis of 2011, when the United States came within two days of defaulting on its debt, global markets crashed and Standard & Poor’s lowered the sovereign debt rating of the United States.

Key House Republicans said this year they would seek changes to Social Security and Medicare eligibility, spending caps and safety net work requirements when they sit down to negotiate the increase in the debt ceiling in 2023.

On Sunday, Republicans held a 211-204 advantage in projected seats in the House, where 218 seats are needed for a majority. While Pelosi said Democrats had “a lot of clout” after retaining control of the Senate, “my hope would be that we can do that in the lame duck” before the new Congress sits in January.

Bloomberg Intelligence estimates that the current debt ceiling of around $31.4 trillion is expected to be reached in September or October 2023.

In 2011, a Republican Congress agreed to raise the debt ceiling only after President Barack Obama, a Democrat, agreed to future spending cuts.

“There is great risk even in discussing not doing it,” Pelosi said Sunday, noting that the previous debt ceiling standoff with Republicans led to the downgrading of the US credit rating. United.

“So this is fire when we talk about the stability of our credit rating,” she said.

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Julio V. Miller