Dozens of House Democrats believe it is time to eliminate the debt ceiling and instead allow unlimited borrowing so the government can spend whatever it needs.
The federal government is entrenched in another battle over the debt ceiling after Washington hit its borrowing limit of about $31.4 trillion last week.
As a result, the Treasury Department has employed “extraordinary measures” to help cover the government’s obligations until June, when these tools will be exhausted.
Republicans have called for a debt-prioritization plan that includes a reduction in the record growth of federal spending before allowing an increase in the debt ceiling, according to a draft GOP proposal. But a chorus of Democrats argue that it would be better if officials voted to cancel the debt limit and let the government borrow without any limit or restraint established by Congress.
Rep. Bill Foster (D-Ill) proposed legislation titled “End the Threat of Default Act” (pdf), which was co-sponsored by 42 House Democrats, including Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Pramila Jayapal (Wash.), and Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas).
Foster likened the situation to “ordering an expensive meal at a restaurant, eating it, and skipping out without payment.”
“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,” he said in a statement.
“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.”
The federal government is poised to spend more than $6 trillion for the fourth consecutive fiscal year in 2023.
Since 1960, Congress has acted on the debt ceiling more than 75 times by raising the limit, temporarily extending it, or altering the definition.
This is not the first time that congressional Democrats have discussed abolishing the debt ceiling.
By Andrew Moran