(Adds comments from Harris and Brainard, paragraphs 3-7)
WASHINGTON, May 18 (Reuters) – Vice President Kamala Harris and President Joe Biden’s top economic adviser Lael Brainard said on Thursday that a US debt burden would plunge the economy into recession.
In a conference call for Democratic activists, they urged activists to contact lawmakers to voice their opposition to a default that could take place in less than two weeks.
Brainard, director of the White House National Economic Council, said Biden’s negotiating team has been instructed not to agree to proposals from Republicans about lifting the debt ceiling that would take away Americans’ health care or push them into poverty. Push.
Republicans threatening to let the government default on its debts are trying to persuade Democrats to accept tighter work requirements for some federal aid programs in exchange for lifting the borrowing ceiling.
“A default can trigger a recession,” Harris said.
Brainard said the goal of the Biden administration, in its talks with the team of Speaker of the House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy, is to work towards a reasonable bipartisan budget deal.
“The government’s negotiating team is fighting extreme efforts to undo the progress we’ve made: creating clean energy jobs, fighting climate change and reducing costs for middle-class families, including students and for insulin and other drugs,” she said.
(Reporting by Steve Holland and Doina Chiacu Editing by Chris Reese and Leslie Adler)