Press Release

Senator Peter Welch Holds Virtual Roundtable with Local Vermont Leaders to Discuss Impact of Defaulting on National Debt 

May 24, 2023

Senator Peter Welch (D-VT) convened a virtual roundtable discussion today on how Vermonters would be impacted if the United States defaults on its debt for the first time in its history. Joined by local business leaders and representatives from state and local government, Sen. Welch stressed the unprecedented nature of the current crisis and called for a swift resolution to negotiations between House Republicans and the Biden Administration. Participants shared their concerns about the damage default could do in Vermont’s most vulnerable communities, including seniors and those still struggling to recover from the health and economic impacts of COVID-19. They also warned of the economic instability default could impose on the state’s smaller banks and credit unions. 

“Defaulting on the debt would be catastrophic for families across the country—but so much of the conversation in Washington is abstract. We must remember: default would affect every Vermonter, putting thousands out of work, raising the cost of mortgages, and could force seniors to miss essential Social Security checks,” said Sen. Welch. “I convened today’s roundtable to hear firsthand how a default would impact our state. It has real ramifications for real Vermonters. I thank today’s participants for sharing their perspectives with me and will bring their voices with me to Washington.”

If the United States defaults on its debts, the country could be plunged into a recession, resulting in the loss of up to 8 million jobs and increasing the national debt. One think tank estimates that, at the local level, 6,600 Vermonters could lose their jobs and more than 95,000 households would miss their monthly Social Security checks, resulting in more than $2 billion in missed payments. 

Sen. Welch has been vocal on the potential risks of default, taking to the Senate floor on two separate occasions to express concern about cavalier attitudes towards default among House Republicans and calling for a clean increase to the debt ceiling. To see video of Sen. Welch’s floor speeches, please click here and here