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Neal Calls on Secretary Mnuchin to Provide Debt Limit Update

Citing the negative fiscal effects of the Republican tax law and the recent government shutdown, Ways & Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) today sent a letter to Department of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin asking when the Trump Administration plans to request that Congress raise the debt limit and prevent the first-ever default on the full faith and credit of the United States. In his letter, Chairman Neal pointed out that “the current suspension of the debt limit will expire after March 1, 2019 and after that point Treasury will need to meet our nation’s financial obligations using cash on hand and ‘extraordinary measures’ previously authorized by Congress.”

The Republican tax law “caused a significant drop in revenue, from 17.2 percent of GDP in 2017 to 16.4 percent of GDP in 2018, and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that, as a share of GDP, revenue will remain well below the 2017 level for several years,” noted Chairman Neal. He added that, “in addition to disrupting government services to individuals, farmers, and businesses, costing taxpayers billions of dollars, and putting hundreds of thousands of hard-working federal employees and contractors at risk of financial ruin, the recent partial government shutdown also reduced GDP and disrupted Internal Revenue Service (IRS) operations, which may result in revenue falling even lower than projected.”

Specifically, Chairman Neal requested Secretary Mnuchin’s response include what adjustment to the debt limit is needed for the United States to meet its obligations, and by what date the Ways & Means Committee and Congress will need to act on the matter.

Full text of the letter is available HERE.


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