Republican Representative Don Bacon: Both Parties Should View Default on National Debt as ‘Real Threat’

Republican Representative Don Bacon of Nebraska believes Republicans and Democrats should make a serious, concerted effort to meet halfway to address the “real threat” of a national debt default. 

In an interview, Sunday on ABC News’s “This Week,” Bacon said controlling reckless spending is a piece of the Republicans’ mission as they continue the transition into control in the lower chamber. 

“I think it is a real threat that both sides have to take serious,” said Bacon. “So, when President Biden says he’s just going to refuse to negotiate with Republicans on any concessions, I don’t think that’s right either.”

Janet Yellen, Treasury Department Secretary, announced last week that the United States would hit the federal debt limit this week, which requires the department to take “extraordinary measures” to prevent a default on the national debt, which is currently around $31.4 trillion.

Exceptional measures could refer to moving money between accounts to allow the Treasury to pay bills without adding new debt. The actions are temporary and will only last long enough to carry the U.S. through early June. However, the Treasury will only be able to endure a few more months before all measures are exhausted.

According to Bacon, Republicans must remember that with only a four-seat majority in the House and the Democrats’ one-seat majority in the Senate, it isn’t guaranteed they will “get everything we want either.”

“I want our side to negotiate with the Democrats in good faith. But, President Biden has to also negotiate; he can’t say he refuses to negotiate; that’s a non-starter as well,” said Bacon.

Kevin McCarthy, Speaker of the House, said during an interview Sunday with Fox News’s Maria Bartiromo that he believes it is crucial to “look at how we go here” when reviewing discretionary spending and the national debt by Democrats. 

McCarthy maintains he told the president in the first discussion since he became Speaker that he wants to meet and discuss the priorities and process Republicans have in finding a middle ground and passing the debt limit. 

“Let’s sit down together. Let’s look at the places that we can change our behavior,” said McCarthy of his discussion with the president. “I believe we can sit down with anybody who wants to work together. I believe this president could be that person.”

Treasury Secretary Yellen says the debt limit will be reached Thursday

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellin notified Congress that America would reach its debt limit on Thursday. After that, according to Yellen, the Treasury Department will start “taking certain extraordinary measures to prevent the United States from defaulting on its obligations,” wrote Yellen in a letter to House Speaker McCarthy.

Yellen explained that the Treasury “is not currently able” to estimate how long those emergency actions will be able to pay for government obligations. 

However, “It is unlikely that cash and extraordinary measures will be exhausted before early June,” she added. 

Yellen warned the Speaker it is “critical that Congress act in a timely manner to increase or suspend the debt limit. Failure to meet the government’s obligations would cause irreparable harm to the U.S. economy, the livelihoods of all Americans, and global financial stability.”

“I respectfully urge Congress to act promptly to protect the full faith and credit of the United States,” she continued.