Yellen Yields to GOP Freedom Caucus Demand to Hear 'Hard Deadline' for Debt Ceiling

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

My colleague Joe Cunningham wrote earlier on Friday that the leader of the Democrat Party, President Joe Biden, is dealing with dissident voices from Congress, especially from the radical left wing, but it was coming from right and center, as well:


Part of the problem is that several parts of the Democratic Caucus have several different complaints. Progressives don’t want cuts at all. Moderates don’t want work requirements. Swing district Democrats don’t want to rock the boat in what could be a bad electoral year. Everyone has complaints, and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries is in the rather unenviable position of fielding all those complaints and playing go-between.

Unfortunately for the Dems, Biden already left on vacation Thursday. (see Biden Has No Idea Who He Is Calling for at Event, as He Ditches Debt Deadline for Vacation)

On the Republican side of things, as we previously reported, the conservative House Freedom Caucus is pressing Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to not only hew as closely as possible to the bipartisan debt bill the lower chamber passed and nix bloated spending items the Democrats wish for—like a new headquarters for the FBI:

— but insists that Biden Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen show her work, so to speak, on how she came up with the “June 1” deadline she’s tried to use to scare the American people over the debt ceiling not being raised (Washington Times):


“The credibility of her projection suffers not only from its manipulative timing, but also Yellen’s spectacular prior failures to recognize our severe and lasting inflation,” the lawmakers wrote.

Now, Yellen has yielded to Republicans’ pressure, NBC News reports, revealing in a letter to congressional Republicans that there’s now a “hard deadline”—a few days after Memorial Day:

WASHINGTON — The United States has a few more days than expected before it runs out of money, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a letter Friday afternoon.

The new deadline to act or risk breaching the debt ceiling is June 5, Yellen said, setting a hard deadline for the first time. She had previously been less specific, saying the breach could occur “potentially as early as June 1.” […]

“Based on the most recent available data, we now estimate that Treasury will have insufficient resources to satisfy the government’s obligations if Congress has not raised or suspended the debt limit by June 5,” Yellen wrote to congressional leaders.

Yellen’s letter continued with her usual doomsday tone:

“We have learned from past debt limit impasses that waiting until the last minute to suspend or increase the debt limit can cause serious harm to business and consumer confidence, raise short-term borrowing costs for taxpayers, and negatively impact the credit rating of the United States,” she wrote.

“In fact, we have already seen Treasury’s borrowing costs increase substantially for securities maturing in early June.


She wrote more like that, but you get the idea. But there’s an obvious problem with her tut-tutting of Congress. The executive branch, her boss Joe Biden’s branch of our federal government, is not going to get a pass for this episode of poor leadership. It’s usually the president in power and his party who gets the blame for economic downturns by voters. The White House and congressional Democrats have no one to blame but themselves here.


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