The debt ceiling is the next fiscal fight looming for Democrats and Republicans, who held their ground on the third day of a federal government shutdown tied to Congress‘ inability to agree on a spending plan.
“The Administration would not oppose a short-term solution to the debt limit and looks forward to continuing to work with both the House and the Senate to increase certainty and stability for the economy,” the White House said in an official statement of policy released today.
The House plans to vote tomorrow on a bill to suspend the nation’s $16.4 trillion debt limit until mid-May, giving Congress more time to negotiate over the limit. The bill would also require the House and Senate to pass a budget. If either chamber failed to pass a budget, according to this proposal, their congressional salaries would be withheld.
“All we’re saying is, if the president and the Senate, if this country needs to incur more debt, Senate, please show us your plan to repay that debt, please show us your plan to control spending,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said this evening. FULL ARTICLE
Williamsburg, Virginia (CNN) – While at a GOP retreat, House Republican leaders on Friday announced a vote next week on a three-month extension of the debt limit, with a requirement that both chambers pass a budget or else go without pay.
Major fiscal fights remain for the coming session and President Barack Obama has signaled his unwillingness to put Americans through another drawn-out battle over the nation’s debt limit, which Congress will vote on this term.
“While I will negotiate over many things, I will not have another debate with this Congress over whether or not they should pay the bills that they’ve already racked up through the laws that they passed,” the president said late Tuesday night after the fiscal cliff compromise.
The nation hit the debt ceiling limit on Monday.
Republicans have pushed back against raising the debt limit in past years, and this time around they’re expected to use the fiscal cliff negotiations as leverage to press Democrats to compromise on spending cuts.
Appearing on CBS‘ “Face the Nation,” Pelosi offered her strongest endorsement to-date of the 14th Amendment option, which holds that Congress doesn’t have the power to use the debt ceiling as a hostage-taking device because the validity of the debt “shall not be questioned.”
But the sequester — a set of automatic spending cuts of up to 10 percent to the budgets of most agencies and programs — lies ahead. It has been pushed back to the end of February.
At about the same time, a decision on the debt ceiling that the last Congress postponed will be due.
As an early order of business, the new Congress will address the massive aid package for Superstorm Sandy victims. House Speaker John Boehner scrapped a vote to approve the $60 billion measure late Tuesday in the wake of the vote on the fiscal cliff bill, triggering irate reactions from politicians in both parties from New York and New JerseyFULL ARTICLE
“This is one step in the broader effort to strengthen our economy for everybody,” Obama said.
Obama lamented that earlier attempts at a much larger fiscal deal that would have cut spending and dealt with entitlement reforms failed. He said he hoped future debates would be done with “a little less drama, a little less brinksmanship, and not scare folks quite as much.”
But Obama drew a line in the sand on the debt ceiling, which is set to be reached by March.
“While I will negotiate over many things, I will not have another debate with this Congress over whether they should pay the bills for what they’ve racked up,” Obama said. “We can’t not pay bills that we’ve already incurred.” FULL ARTICLE
The U.S. government will exhaust its borrowing authority on Dec. 31 and hit the $16.4 trillion federal debt limit, the Treasury Department said Wednesday, beginning a countdown until Congress either passes legislation to allow for more borrowing or the government defaults on its debt.
Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said in a letter to senior lawmakers that the Treasury would begin to undertake “extraordinary measures” in order to forestall default. Geithner said the measures could create about $200 billion in additional funding available to the government – giving Congress two months before it must raise the debt