Former US President Donald Trump on Wednesday urged Republicans in Congress to trigger a federal government shutdown if they do not secure “huge” cuts in public spending from the administration of Democratic successor Joe Biden.

“To the congressmen, to the senators, I say: if you don’t get massive cuts, you have to cause a default” of the US, said the Republican, a candidate for the 2024 elections, during a discussion with voters moderated and broadcast by the television network CNN.

Democrats and Republicans have engaged in bravado over raising the U.S. debt ceiling, a congressional decision absolutely necessary for the world’s largest economy to be able to pay its bills, its workers and its creditors.

Mr. Trump made this exhortation judging that the default will be avoided because, as he predicted, the Democrats will “back down” on this issue.

Joe Biden’s successor rules out at this stage any possibility of negotiating cuts in public spending and accuses Republicans in Congress of holding the US economy “hostage”.

In the absence of a vote in Congress, the US may be forced to declare a default on June 1.

Unprecedented development, which would have, as the White House constantly warns, disastrous consequences for employment and growth, in addition to the destabilization of the global economy that it is assumed to cause.