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Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On The Vital Importance Of Avoiding Catastrophic Default Ahead Of White House Meeting

Washington, D.C.Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor on the serious danger posed by default ahead of this afternoon’s White House meeting with President Biden and Congressional leadership. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

Yesterday afternoon, Treasury Secretary Yellen released a letter updating Congressional leadership about their latest forecast regarding default.

The Treasury’s projection remains unchanged: the federal government is in danger of failing to pay its bills as soon as June 1st.

Since last week’s White House meeting, Democrat staff have, in good faith, held conversations with our Republican counterparts about the nation’s fiscal future. The talks are separate but simultaneous to our responsibility to avoid default. Democrats will not use the threat of default to get what we want. Nobody should use default as a hostage, nobody should say unless you do this, then we default, because the consequences of default would be devastating for ordinary Americans.

We talked through the weekend.

We talked yesterday.

And both sides, the staffs that is, are talking today as well.

Later this afternoon, I will join President Biden, Leader Jeffries, Speaker McCarthy, and Leader McConnell at the White House.

Democrats welcome a debate about this year’s budget.

For decades, both parties have regularly worked out their differences about spending and revenues throughout the appropriations process. That is what is happening right now, while we separately but simultaneously work to avoid default.  

And again, let me just repeat this because it’s so important as we get closer to June 1st: nobody should use default as a hostage, nobody should say unless you do this, then we default, because the consequences will be devastating for ordinary Americans.

Default would almost certainly create another recession, kill more than 8 million jobs, send costs soaring on everything from mortgages, car payments, student loans, small business loans, and so much more.

If you want to own a home one day, default would take that dream and run it through the shredder.

If you want to protect your 401(k), default would rob you of your livelihood.

If you want to grow your small business, or borrow student loans, or if you benefit from Social Security or Medicare, a default would be a nightmare scenario.

We all know these things are fast approaching the closer we get to June 1st.

Congress cannot – under any circumstances – fail its obligation to protect the full faith and credit of the United States. It is one of our highest obligations.