Acting director of the Office of Management and Budget Russ Voughtaccused House Democrats on Thursday of holding “the debt limit hostage,” after Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Health Care: Pelosi to change drug-pricing plan after complaints | 2020 Democrats to attend Planned Parenthood abortion forum | House holds first major ‘Medicare for All’ hearing Overnight Health Care: Pelosi to change drug-pricing plan after complaints | 2020 Democrats to attend Planned Parenthood abortion forum | House holds first major ‘Medicare for All’ hearing Pelosi to change drug-pricing plan after progressive complaints MORE (D-Calif.) said she wouldn’t agree to raise the debt ceiling before the White House agrees to raise spending caps.
Vought called Pelosi’s move “reckless and irresponsible.”
“With our nation already more than $22 trillion in debt, Congress should be working with us to reduce wasteful spending and decrease deficits. The administration has consistently urged Congress to protect the full faith and credit of the United States by acting to increase the debt limit as soon as possible,” Vought said in a statement.
— Russ Vought (@RussVought45) June 13, 2019
Pelosi told reporters at the Capitol on Thursday that lifting the debt ceiling will come “second or simultaneous” to lifting the caps, but not before.
Congress will need to suspend or increase the federal debt limit by fall in order to avoid defaulting on its own debt, which would impact global markets and hurt the Treasury Department’s ability to raise money by selling government bonds.
The White House has demanded that the statutory caps remain in place while raising defense spending through a budget maneuver. But Democrats in the House have been passing spending bills that would raise funding levels by $17 billion for defense and $34 billion for nondefense.
Negotiations over the debt limit have been tied to discussions over raising the spending caps, a move that is needed to prevent a significant decline in government spending. Inaction would see both defense and domestic spending drop by about 10 percent in fiscal 2020, which begins Oct. 1.
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