Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid (R-NV) told the Republican party that the chaos over the succession contest for House speaker is no excuse for allowing the U.S. to default on its debt. In a statement released Thursday, Reid said that the GOP had devolved into “utter chaos” following House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s announcement that he had dropped out of the race.
“The utter chaos of the Republican party must not threaten the full faith and credit of the United States and the American people,” Reid wrote. “While negotiations on a budget deal continue, we should work together immediately to take the threat of default off the table.”
The Treasury Department has announced a Nov. 5 deadline for raising the debt ceiling. Other contenders for the speakership, including Rep. Jason Chaffetz, have signaled that they would allow the U.S. to default.
Reid said this shouldn’t be an option, and called for Republican leaders to “bring a clean debt ceiling increase to the floors of the House and Senate immediately.”
“Republican chaos is likely to get worse before it gets better but the economic livelihood of the American people should not be threatened as a result of Republicans’ inability to govern,” he continued.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who is Reid’s presumed successor, echoed the Democratic leader’s call in a statement of his own.
“If Congress waits around for the Republican Family Feud to resolve itself, we’ll risk a government shutdown and defaulting on our national debt. It’s time for the responsible members of the Republican Party to work with Democrats and forge a bipartisan budget deal, take the threat of default off the table, and protect middle class families from economic disaster.”