Washington, D.C.—The National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) urged House members today to reject H.R. 692, a bill to prioritize payments during a default.
In a letter, NTEU National President Tony Reardon wrote: “This bill tries to lull the country into believing that if we reach the debt limit ceiling and cannot pay our bills, we somehow prevent default by agreeing to pay only our bondholders and our Social Security recipients.”
The House should reject the bill because it “orders the government to pay our holders of public debt (mostly the Chinese) before our military, our scientists, and our federal employees, instead of spending time passing a new debt limit ceiling,” according to President Reardon.
Sponsored by Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.), H.R. 692 could come up for a vote on the House floor today.
Reardon urged lawmakers to raise the debt limit ceiling quickly so the government can repay “the debts Congress has already incurred.”
“If Congress does not act to pass a new debt limit ceiling by November 3rd and the federal government defaults, it is unclear if federal employees will be allowed to continue doing their jobs,” President Reardon wrote. “If they are allowed to continue to work, it is unclear when they would be paid. Prioritizing who gets paid first may mean that federal employee pay is far down on the list of bills to be paid.”