Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen warned Congress on Friday that the U.S. economy faced “irreparable harm” if lawmakers failed to raise or suspend the nation’s borrowing cap and that the Treasury Department would begin taking “extraordinary measures” to avoid breaching the so-called debt limit, APA reports citing New York Times.
In a letter to Congress, Ms. Yellen said that the nation’s debt will hit its statutory limit on Aug. 1 and that it is possible that soon after lawmakers return from their August recess the United States could face the dire prospect of defaulting on its obligations. Urging Congress to act, she recalled that in 2011 the threat of default caused nation’s credit rating to be downgraded.
“Even the threat of failing to meet those obligations has caused detrimental impacts in the past, including the sole credit rating downgrade in the history of the nation in 2011,” Ms. Yellen wrote. “This is why no president or Treasury secretary of either party has ever countenanced even the suggestion of a default on any obligation of the United States.”
Ms. Yellen also warned that the pandemic had made it difficult for the Treasury to predict how long it could delay breaching the debt ceiling given uncertainty around the timing of government payments and tax receipts.