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President Biden and first lady Jill Biden arrive at the White House in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 4, 2021. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden on Monday urged Republican lawmakers to "let the Democrats vote to raise the debt ceiling this week" as the Oct. 18 deadline looms.

Driving the news: "If you don't want to help save the country, get out of the way so you don't destroy it," Biden said.

  • "We don't have time to delay with elaborate procedural schemes, which Republicans proposals require, scores of votes without any certainty at all, many of which have nothing to do with the debt limit at all."
  • Biden also said he could not guarantee that the U.S. will not reach the debt ceiling. "That's up to Mitch McConnell," he said.

The big picture: Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen last week warned lawmakers that Congress has until Oct. 18 to raise or suspend the debt ceiling before the U.S. will likely begin to default on its debt for the first time ever.

  • Republicans, led by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, have said they won't vote to raise the debt ceiling, saying that doing so will promote more government spending.
  • McConnell on Monday sent a letter to Biden urging him "to engage directly with congressional Democrats on this matter," Politico reports.

Why it matters: Failure to raise the debt ceiling before Oct. 18 could pause paychecks to federal workers, Medicare benefits, military salaries, tax refunds, Social Security checks and more — potentially impacting payments for millions of Americans, CNN reports.

What he's saying: "Raising the debt limit comes down to paying what we already owe, what has already been acquired, not anything new. It starts with the simple truth. The United States is a nation that pays its bills and always has."

  • "Raising the debt limit is about paying off our old debts. It has nothing to do with any new spending being considered."
  • "A failure to raise the debt limit will call into question Congress's willingness to meet our obligations that we've already incurred, not new ones, we've already incurred."
  • "Republicans say they will not do their part to avoid this needless calamity. So be it, but they need to stop playing Russian roulette with the U.S. economy."

Go deeper: Congress must raise the debt limit by Oct. 18, Yellen warns

Go deeper

McConnell: GOP should move past Trump's "rehash" of 2020 election

Former President Trump and Sen. Mitch McConnell at the White House. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters Tuesday that Republicans should be looking to "the future and not the past" when asked about how comfortable he was with the GOP "embracing" former President Trump.

Why it matters: CNN's Manu Raju posed the question after Trump attended a GOP retreat last week, noting that McConnell had said the former president was "morally responsible for provoking the events" on the day of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, per Business Insider.

U.S. border cities again see low violent crime rates

Expand chart
Data: FBI, Kansas Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Census Bureau; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

Reported violent crime in the United States rose in 2020 for the first time in four years, but violent crime rates in 11 of the largest communities along the U.S.-Mexico border stayed below the national average, an Axios analysis found. 

Why it matters: Year after year, data showing low violent crime rates in majority-Mexican American and Mexican immigrant border communities dispels myths of the U.S.-Mexico border as a region filled with crime and chaos.

Biden to Dems: This is my make-or-break moment

President Biden walks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after addressing the House Democratic caucus on Thursday. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden told the House Democratic caucus Thursday "my presidency will be determined" by the votes he wants in the next week on his $1.75 trillion social safety net expansion and $1.2 trillion infrastructure package.

Driving the news: Biden made the comment, according to a source in the room, as he tried to rally support for the $1.75 trillion package. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi acted immediately, calling for a vote on the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill later in the day.