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Six former Treasury secretaries urge Congress to raise debt ceiling

Six former Treasury secretaries urge Congress to raise debt ceiling
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks during a news conference on the debt ceiling with other Republican senators at U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 22 (UPI) -- Six former U.S. Treasury secretaries wrote Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday, urging her and Congress to "move swiftly" on raising the debt ceiling.

Henry Paulson, Timothy Geithner, Larry Summers, Jack Lew, Robert Rubin and Michael Blumenthal warned Congress that even delaying an unprecedented default "could cause serious economic and national security harm."

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"For 232 years, our nation has consistently paid all of its bills, in full and on time," they wrote. "Unshakeable creditworthiness has long been a wellspring of strength for our nation, and protecting it is a sacrosanct responsibility. No Congress or president has allowed our country to default."

The former treasurers said delaying a resolution could be detrimental and an accidental default could occur.

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They sent copies of the letter to House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

The letter comes the day after Democrats passed a bill to raise the debt ceiling past the 2022 midterm elections. The next vote is in the Senate, where Republicans are threatening to block it.

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McConnell, during a news conference Wednesday, said President Joe Biden's government has undertaken massive spending without Republican support and the Democrats should raise the borrowing limit on their own.

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"Don't play Russian roulette with our economy," he said. "Step up and raise the debt ceiling to cover all that you've been engaged in all year long."

The federal government will lose funding after Sept. 30 unless the House and Senate act to end the standoff leading to a partial government shutdown.

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