AFGE is asking members of the House of Representatives to urgently sign a discharge petition to raise the debt ceiling and avoid a catastrophic default.
With only days before the June 1 deadline to pay the country’s bills, House Democrats are asking colleagues to sign a discharge petition in a procedural move to bypass House leadership who want to force deep budget cuts in exchange for voting to prevent default. The petition needs 218 signatures and is being circulated as House leadership are negotiating with the White House.
So far, 210 Democrats have signed the petition.
If the U.S. government defaults on its debt, it will cause major economic damage and shock the financial system. Even coming close to default over a decade ago cost jobs, sent the stock market careening, wiped out investment savings, and raised borrowing costs because of a needless credit downgrade, costing taxpayers billions.
If we actually default, the government may not be able to pay salaries for federal employees. Social Security, Medicare checks and payments for military and veterans benefits could stop. People could see higher rates for mortgages and credit card interest, further squeezing ordinary Americans just when we can least afford it.
“Like other working people, our members will face an unprecedented and unnecessary economic catastrophe: skyrocketing interest rates, cratering retirement funds, and ballooning inflation. Defaulting would be handing a gift to America’s adversaries and a bill to our children, in the form of higher borrowing costs for years to come,” said AFGE President Everett Kelley.
Kelley reminded people that federal workers are on the frontlines serving the American people every day. They are doctors and nurses who care compassionately for our veterans, meat inspectors who oversee the safety of our food supply, transportation security officers who safeguard air travelers, and border patrol agents who enforce our immigration laws. They are the depot workers who arm our soldiers and our allies, and the corrections officers who keep us safe from dangerous criminals.
“These dedicated men and women worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic, preventing the collapse of our economy and containing the virus that took the lives of more than a million Americans,” he added. “These same workers are now on the front lines of a new crisis, one created not by a virus, but by our broken political system.”
Read more about why we’re back talking about this manufactured crisis so often here.