CNN’s Poppy Harlow pushed back against Democratic Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin on Wednesday for introducing legislation that would strip Congress of the power to raise the debt ceiling.
Durbin, alongside several Democratic colleagues, introduced legislation in 2022 that would repeal the debt ceiling and give the Secretary of the Treasury the authority to raise the debt ceiling.
“You introduced last year the Debt Ceiling Reform Act and that would essentially take this responsibility from Congress to the Treasury Secretary, so essentially to one unelected individual. Why should that be taken out of the hands of Congress, noting that Congress has taken us to the brink before and it can be disastrous for the economy,” Harlow said. “Isn’t that why you guys are elected to do this hard stuff?”
“Well, of course that’s true, but the fact is there’s been political gamesmanship when it comes to our debt ceiling over the last 20 years or so and we have to bring this to an end,” Durbin said. (RELATED: ‘We Have Plenty Of Money’: Rand Paul Fires Back At ‘Completely Dishonest’ Debt Ceiling Doomsday Talk)
“We shouldn’t put the economy of the United States in peril because we’re in the midst of preparing for a presidential campaign. My belief, and others share it, is that saying to Congress you can disagree with the president on extending the debt ceiling but you have to do it with an extraordinary vote, I think that let’s us come out on the record on this issue without jeopardizing the economy.”
The U.S. hit its $31.4 trillion debt ceiling Jan. 19, with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen sending a letter to Congress that the department would need to take “extraordinary measures.” House Republicans have demanded any increase in the debt limit be accompanied by spending cuts, but the Biden Administration has refused to negotiate with them, alleging they are holding the economy “hostage.”