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Janet Yellen warns there will be a 'deep recession' if debt ceiling isn't lifted by December 15

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned lawmakers Tuesday that the U.S. could suffer a 'deep recession' if they don't raise the debt ceiling by December 15.  

'I cannot overstate how critical it is that Congress address this issue,' she urged the Senate Banking Committee. 'America must pay its bills on time and in full. If we do not, we will eviscerate our current recovery.' 

Yellen said that in a 'matter of days' the majority of Americans would suffer financially if Congress didn't lift or suspend the debt ceiling. 

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned lawmakers Tuesday that the U.S. could suffer a 'deep recession' if they don't raise the debt ceiling by December 15

'As critical payments like social security checks and military paychecks would not reach their bank accounts and that would likely be followed by a deep recession,' Yellen predicted.   

Earlier this month, Yellen told Congressional leaders that the federal government had more time than her initial estimate on when it would default on its debt. 

Yellen had originally estimated the country wouldn't be able to pay its bills after December 3, but a revised estimate put that closer to December 15. 

Still, the clock is ticking and it's not entirely clear how lawmakers will get a debt bill through the nearly deadlocked Senate.  

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell initially resisted helping the Democrats, but did agree in mid-October to raise the debt ceiling by $480 billion. 

Eleven Republicans joined Democrats to clear the 60-vote hurdle bypassing a GOP-led filibuster, while no Republicans joined Democrats on the final vote. 

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told Punchbowl News Monday that 'we're still talking about that' in terms of coming up with a plan to hike the debt ceiling. Former President Donald Trump is urging McConnell to use the debt ceiling to 'totally kill' Build Back Better 

McConnell's tone in recent days suggests he won't again play hard ball with the debt ceiling - however he's consistently said Democrats needed to vote on it alone.  

'Let me assure everyone the government will not default as it never has,' McConnell said Tuesday. 'And second, the majority leader and I have been having discussions about the way forward.' 

Prodded about what kind of support Republicans would give Democrats to increase the debt ceiling, McConnell responded, 'We're having useful discussions about the way forward.'  

Punchbowl News reported that Senate Democrats are thinking about raising the debt ceiling in a standalone reconciliation bill and thus only Democratic voted would be needed for passage.

Republicans would have to agree to limit the amendment process, so the reconciliation process could be done swiftly and before the December 15 deadline.

However, a single rogue Republican senator could throw a wrench in that plan. 

Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump continues to scream at McConnell to use the debt ceiling to trip up President Joe Biden's $1.75 trillion Build Back Better bill, which still needs to be passed by the Senate. 

'Old Crow Mitch McConnell, who is getting beaten on every front by the Radical Left Democrats since giving them a two-month delay which allowed them to "get their act together," must be fully prepared to use the DEBT CEILING in order to totally kill the Democrat’s new Social Spending (Wasting!) Bill, which will change our Country forever,' Trump wrote in a statement Tuesday.  

McConnell and Republicans could elongate the debt ceiling process to delay the Build Back Better bill, but Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin is already holding up passage, as he objects to some of the provisions House Democrats put in, including paid family leave. 

Democrats are using reconciliation to pass Build Back Better, so McConnell and Republicans will be unable to filibuster the bill.