President Biden blamed Senate Republicans and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for the country's precarious financial situation on Monday, warning that a "meteor" is headed toward the U.S. economy if the debt limit is not raised within the next two weeks, Bloomberg reports.
When asked whether he could guarantee the U.S. wouldn't reach the limits on its debt, Biden said he couldn't, and that it's "up to Mitch McConnell."
"I can't believe that that will be the end result because the consequence is so dire," Biden added, referencing a situation in which the country could not pay its debts. "I don't believe that. But can I guarantee it? If I could, I would, but I can't." The debt ceiling sets the maximum limit on U.S. borrowing under federal law.
McConnell has insisted for months that Republicans will not help the majority party raise the nation's debt ceiling, arguing Democrats have the tools to do so themselves on a partisan basis via the reconciliation process. The minority leader penned Biden a letter on Monday asking him to direct Democrats to do exactly that. The president said he plans "on talking to Mitch about it" and hopes "we can have some intelligent and honest conversation about what he's proposing," per Bloomberg; otherwise, Biden believes using the reconciliation method to be "cumbersome" and "risky."
In any event, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has separately warned her department will run out of cash around Oct. 18 if the debt limit is not raised or suspended, meaning time is, of course, of the essence.
"A meteor is headed to crash into our economy," warned Biden on Monday. "Democrats are willing to do all the work stopping it. Republicans just have to let us do our job."