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Roundtable Issues Call-to-Action to Members Concerning the Debt Ceiling

  • January 20, 2023

U.S. Capitol from side with cloudsThe Real Estate Roundtable yesterday urged its membership—leaders of the nation’s top publicly held and privately owned real estate ownership, development, lending and management firms—to contact federal lawmakers to raise the nation’s debt ceiling. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the U.S. reached the maximum amount it can legally borrow yesterday, and that “extraordinary measures” would allow the country to continue paying its bills, but only until early June. (NPR and Yellen letter to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, Jan. 19)

Call-to-Action

  • In the all-member Call-to-Action, Roundtable Chair John Fish (Chairman and CEO, SUFFOLK) and Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer wrote, “We now believe the risk of a default on the federal debt in 2023 is a real and meaningful concern that must not be taken lightly.” Congress has faced this statutory limit on debt 78 times in the past, yet has always acted to increase the debt limit. The note expressed their concern that Congress will face more difficulty in reaching an agreement on the debt ceiling now amid a substantial increase in political acrimony.

  • Today, DeBoer said, “Some threats to the US economy are unavoidable, others are ones of our own making and entirely unnecessary. The potential for a default on the federal debt is a needless and inexcusable risk with potentially dire consequences for U.S. real estate, workers and retirees, and the entire economy. The full faith and credit of the United States government should not be open to negotiation.”

  • Federal Reserve economists believe a prolonged stand-off could cause private interest rates to rise sharply, create liquidity pressures, and severely impair financial markets. “As default risk rises, the impacts will be felt throughout the economy, but especially in borrowing-intensive industries such as real estate,” the Call-to-Action added.

  • The Roundtable note encourages its members to contact both policymakers in Congress and the White House to raise the debt ceiling soon.

Policymaking in the 118th Congress and significant challenges such as the debt ceiling will be discussed during The Roundtable’s State of the Industry Meeting next week in Washington, DC.

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