Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York talk to reporters Tuesday after meeting with President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of California and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. Credit: Evan Vucci / AP

Letters submitted by BDN readers are verified by BDN Opinion Page staff. Send your letters to

Neither Democrats nor Republicans are taking seriously the prospect of a United States default.

Republicans want to cut government spending. Democrats want to preserve it. This is an ordinary, humdrum policy difference. In ordinary times, we could argue over it in the ordinary, humdrum way.

But this is an extraordinary time. The good faith and credit of the U.S. are on the line. If Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling, lawmakers are refusing to pay our bills — bills they themselves have already promised to pay on our behalf.

Who would trust the U.S. after that?

With two weeks to go, it doesn’t matter how the debt ceiling gets raised. Each side needs to capitulate immediately, and together pass a bill — any bill —  to raise the debt ceiling. Who cares whether the bill carries conditions?

Our house is on fire. The people with the hose are fighting each other instead of the fire. They need to knock it off and do their job.

Caroline Rupp