Senate Democrat calls potential for debt default a ‘manufactured crisis’

Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) on Sunday called the looming potential of default a “manufactured crisis,” pointing to previous debt ceiling increases under former President Trump.

“This is a manufactured crisis,” Reed said on “Fox News Sunday.” “For three times, President Trump came to the Congress and asked us to pass a unconditional debt ceiling increase.”

“Even after he had increased the debts dramatically by his tax cuts, we did that, because we understood the risk of the economy, the risk of the American people, the risk of our national security standing,” he added.

There are less than two weeks left until the so-called x-date — the date that Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has marked as the earliest possible time that the U.S. could default if lawmakers do not raise the debt ceiling.

Negotiations between the White House and Republicans broke down on Saturday as both sides accused the other of a lack of movement, heightening concerns about a potential default.

“This is completely avoidable,” Reed said. “All the Speaker has to do is what Democrats did — Senator [Chuck] Schumer, Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi — pass a clean debt ceiling and then sit down and negotiate a budget and put everything on the table there.”

Republicans have insisted that a debt ceiling increase be accompanied by widespread spending cuts, while Biden and Democrats have pushed for a “clean” increase of the debt limit.

“This is reckless and that’s exactly what they’re trying to do,” Reed added. “And again, the best point to reference is the fact that under President Trump, we understood the dangers of default, and we acted responsibly and reasonably.”

Reed was one of 11 Senate Democrats who urged President Biden earlier this week to “prepare to exercise your authority under the 14th Amendment of the Constitution” to act unilaterally on the debt ceiling.

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