“The debate isn’t academic. A failure to reach a deal would have hit Keystone Staters and their families right in their wallets”

PENNSYLVANIA — Today, the Pennsylvania Capital-Star highlighted how Senator Pat Toomey and Republicans’ weeks of playing political games on the debt ceiling could have led to real consequences for Pennsylvania families across the Keystone state. Had it not been for Democrats’ leadership in securing a deal, more than 2.8 million Pennsylvanians could’ve seen a delay in their Social Security payments, 2.2 million children statewide would have had delayed Child Tax Credit payments and 159,679 Pennsylvania children receiving health insurance through the CHIP program would’ve be negatively impacted. 

Penn Capital Star: The Top 3 ways the debt ceiling debate hits home in Pa.  


The failure to raise the debt limit could have “catastrophic” results for the nation’s economy, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned this week. The two sides needed a deal by Oct. 18 to avert that catastrophe…Below, a look at what’s at stake for Pennsylvania in this debate.

1. Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance: As CNN reported back on Sept. 22, more than a half-trillion dollars in funding for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) could have been delayed, impacting 1 in 5 Americans.

In Pennsylvania, that would impact 159,679 children in the CHIP program statewide, according to federal data shared with the Capital-Star.

2. The Child Tax Credit: Thirty-five million families, with 60 million children, have been receiving monthly payments under the Biden administration’s popular child tax credit program. The failure to have reached an agreement could have led to a delay in the fourth batch of those payments landing in Americans’ mailboxes, according to CBS News.

Those payments are $300 per-child aged six and younger, and $250 for children aged 6-17. They’ve been credited with helping to dramatically reduce the nation’s child poverty rate, CBS News reported.

In Pennsylvania, the families of more than 2.2 million children statewide received the first batch of payments in July, according to U.S. Treasury Department data.

3. Social Security payments would have been impacted: Nearly 50 million seniors nationwide could face delays in their payments for the first time since 1935 if Congress fails to reach a deal soon, CNN reported late last month.

About 40 percent of beneficiaries depend on the monthly checks for at least 90 percent of their income, while two-thirds of recipients depend on the infusions for at least half of their income, Max Richtman, CEO of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, told CNN.

“Not having a check for a few weeks or a month is devastating,” Richtman told CNN. “Beneficiaries are going to have to decide: Do I pay my rent? Do I buy food? Do I buy my medicine?”

More than 2.8 million Pennsylvanians could have seen a delay in their payments if Congress fails to raise the debt limit before Oct. 18, according to federal data.

Sometimes the debates on Capitol Hill can feel like abstractions. This is not one of those times.