WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — Democrats and Republicans reached a deal to extend the debt limit last week, and the House is expected back in Washington on Tuesday to vote on that bill.
But even if approved, that only solves the problem temporarily. Officials say the consequences of not raising the country’s debt limit could be disastrous.
“It would be a catastrophe,” said Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. “50 million Americans who received Social Security payments would be put at risk, our troops wouldn’t know when or if they would be paid.”
Yellen told ABC News that failing to raise the debt limit could cause the stock market to plummet – taking with it people’s retirement savings.
“There’s an enormous amount at stake,” she said. “A failure to raise the debt ceiling would probably cause a recession.”
The House returns to Washington Tuesday to vote on a Senate bill that will postpone the crisis to December.
“The reason we were teetering on the edge of default in an economic calamity was because Republicans were refusing to join with Democrats,” Press Secretary Jen Psaki said. “We’re about six weeks away from another timeline and deadline.”
Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell and 10 other Republicans voted last week to allow Senate Democrats to raise the debt ceiling, but McConnell warned he will “not provide such assistance again.”
Former President Donald Trump ripped into McConnell at an Iowa rally over the weekend.
“They approved it, and they should be ashamed of themselves,” he said.
Trump says Republicans should have risked the financial crisis to force Democrats to kill the president’s $3.5 trillion budget plan.
House Republicans say they’ll all vote against raising the debt limit, but the congressional Democrats expect to have enough votes to pass the bill.
That should allow the country to pay its bills for about six weeks, but the nation could be in the same predicament again come December.