Once again, Congress is playing a dangerous game with raising the US debt ceiling.
We all know this is inevitable, as we all want to fund our favorite programs, be it military spending or the social safety net. But the continual threat of not increasing the debt when we all benefit from it is pointless.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Is the latest tax bomb thrower, saying Republicans will not support raising the debt ceiling. That requires 60 votes in the chamber, which means 10 Republicans are expected to sign.
The House passed the measure on Tuesday night in a party line vote. The Senate seems to be a more difficult obstacle,
McConnell says he opposes the $ 3.5 trillion spending plan the Democrats have proposed in their broader plan, though many Republicans have signed on to the bipartisan $ 1,000 billion infrastructure bill who is now in the House. We have to remember that the COVID relief plan that Republicans backed late last year added $ 900 billion in spending.
And while Republicans did not back the $ 1.9 trillion COVID relief bill that Congressional Democrats and President Joe Biden backed earlier this year that brought relief to working families, they passed a $ 1.5 trillion tax bill that provided generous tax breaks for businesses and the wealthy in 2017.
So let’s just call the spending “excessive” even with both parties.
Democrats have now introduced a bill that keeps government spending at current levels through the end of the year, provides some hurricane relief, and extends the debt ceiling. It’s a reasonable approach, similar to the approaches Republicans have taken in the past when they needed Democrat support. Democrats say they expect some Republicans to support their efforts like they have supported their counterparts in the past. It seems fair.
Without an increase in the debt ceiling, the US Treasury would have to start paying US debt with funds as they arrive and could default on some of its obligations.
“It would likely precipitate a historic financial crisis,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen recently wrote in the Wall Street Journal.
Approving a high debt ceiling should not be a partisan issue. It is necessary to help the United States to pay the obligations arising from the expenses financed by the two parties.