A group of 43 Democrats want to completely eliminate the debt ceiling, which they say Republicans have 'weaponized' - which would give the government a blank check to borrow without any limit from Congress.
The End the Threat of Default Act, introduced by Rep Bill Foster (D-IL) and co-sponsored by 42 House Democrats, comes after the federal government hit the $31,381 trillion debt ceiling last week. According to Democrats, instead of attempting to responsibly spend taxpayer dollars through negotiation, it's time to just eliminate all limits on federal borrowing.
"Weaponizing the debt ceiling and using it as a pawn in partisan budget negotiations is dangerous and repeatedly brings our nation to the brink of default, which would be disastrous to the U.S. economy – something we’ve witnessed as recently as 2011 when Republicans created a debt ceiling crisis that resulted in the first ever downgrade to the U.S. credit rating," said Foster.
"The government has an obligation to pay its bills," he added. "Threatening to default on our debt is the same as ordering an expensive meal at a restaurant, eating it, and skipping out without paying. We can and should have a real conversation about overall spending, but the full faith and credit of the United States must never be compromised."
If Democrats are so concerned about hitting the debt ceiling, they should start collecting student debt payments again.— Ilya Shapiro (@ishapiro) January 23, 2023
Co-sponsors of the bill include Reps. Pramila Jayapal of Washington, Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, Gerry Connolly of Virginia, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Barbara Lee of California, Fox News reports.
The Biden administration and its Democrat allies in Congress have argued that raising the debt ceiling does not allow "new" spending, and only allows the government to meet its current obligations. But Republicans say congressional approval of new spending programs is what has repeatedly forced the government to keep hitting its borrowing limit, which has then forced Congress to keep raising the debt ceiling.
Before the housing crisis in 2008, the total national debt was $9 trillion, an amount that more than tripled to more than $31 trillion in less than 15 years thanks to programs related to the housing bailout, 20 years of military presence in Afghanistan, COVID emergency response measures, and routine funding increases for defense and social programs. -Fox News
Just before the pandemic, the federal government spent $4.4 trillion in fiscal year 2019. In 2020, that ballooned to $6.8 trillion, and then $6.3 trillion in FY2022.
Of course, Foster did not introduce the bill when Democrats had the majority in both chambers of Congress (and would have been shot down by their own Joe Manchin) - so let's agree this yet another transparent attempt to signal virtue.