Tuesday, May 15, 2023
- The letter is a follow-up regarding the debt limit and the Treasury Department’s financing capacity for federal operations.
- Secretary Yellen reiterates a May 1, 2023, letter that if Congress does not raise or suspend the debt limit by early June, Treasury may not meet all government obligations.
- Delaying debt limit decisions can harm business and consumer confidence, increase borrowing costs, and potentially impact U.S. credit rating.
- The writer urges Congress to protect the full faith and credit of the U.S. by acting promptly.
Unedited Press Release Text:
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen sent a letter to all members of Congressional leadership regarding the debt limit.
The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Mr. Speaker:
I am writing to follow up on my previous letters regarding the debt limit and to provide additional information regarding the Treasury Department’s ability to continue to finance the operations of the federal government.
In my May 1 letter, I noted that our best estimate was that Treasury would be unable to continue to satisfy all of the government’s obligations by early June if Congress does not raise or suspend the debt limit before that time. In that letter, I also noted that while it is impossible to predict with certainty the exact date when Treasury will be unable to pay all the government’s bills, I would continue to update Congress as more information becomes available. With additional information now available, I am writing to note that we still estimate that Treasury will likely no longer be able to satisfy all of the government’s obligations if Congress has not acted to raise or suspend the debt limit by early June, and potentially as early as June 1.
These estimates are based on currently available data, and federal receipts, outlays, and debt could vary from these estimates. The actual date Treasury exhausts extraordinary measures could be a number of days or weeks later than these estimates. I will provide an additional update to Congress next week as more information becomes available.
We have learned from past debt limit impasses that waiting until the last minute to suspend or increase the debt limit can cause serious harm to business and consumer confidence, raise short-term borrowing costs for taxpayers, and negatively impact the credit rating of the United States. In fact, we have already seen Treasury’s borrowing costs increase substantially for securities maturing in early June. If Congress fails to increase the debt limit, it would cause severe hardship to American families, harm our global leadership position, and raise questions about our ability to defend our national security interests.
I continue to urge Congress to protect the full faith and credit of the United States by acting as soon as possible.
Janet L. Yellen
Identical letter sent to:
The Honorable Hakeem Jeffries, House Democratic Leader
The Honorable Charles E. Schumer, Senate Majority Leader
The Honorable Mitch McConnell, Senate Republican Leader
The Honorable Jason Smith, Chairman, House Committee on Ways and Means
The Honorable Richard E. Neal, Ranking Member, House Committee on Ways and Means
The Honorable Ron Wyden, Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance
The Honorable Mike Crapo, Ranking Member, Senate Committee on Finance
Biden-Harris Administration Officials, Senator Casey Announce Approval of Federal Funding to Connect 44,000 Pennsylvania Homes and Businesses to Affordable, High-Speed Internet as Part of President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda
Join the Newsletter
What’s better than free news straight from the source?