Ed. Note: It’s back. That can containing the debt ceiling got kicked down the road until this Sunday, March 15. The National Debt has doubled since October, 2007 to over $18 trillion now. Watch the leadership in Congress as they again tee up that can for another kick down the road. Republished from The Washington Times, by Sephen Dinan, March 8, 2015
That meant Mr. Obama was free to borrow what he needed to keep the government running until that date, when the debt limit will be reset to whatever the total debt is at that point.
On Thursday, the debt stood at $18.147 trillion.
Mr. Lew has several financial tools at his disposal that can keep the U.S. from breaching its limit for months, though in a letter to Congress last week he said quick action — without another showdown — is critical.
“I hope that Congress will address this matter without controversy of brinksmanship,” Mr. Lew said.
Congress is about to enter the annual budget season, which could be a chance to get ahead of the debt deadline.
If no ceiling increase is approved, the government would have to either limit its expenses to cash that comes in or else default on its debt obligations.
Debt has doubled over the past eight years, from $9.06 trillion on Oct. 1, 2007, to more than $18 trillion now.
The surge of debt during Mr. Obama’s first two years in office — from $10.6 trillion at his 2009 inauguration to $13.7 trillion on Election Day in 2010 — helped power Republicans to huge electoral victories including control of the House.
That set up the 2011 debt fight that culminated in that summer’s major deal, when the debt limit was raised by more than $2 trillion in exchange for immediate spending caps and so-called budget sequesters, which are in place through the end of the decade.
Mr. McConnell and Mr. Boehner emerged from that fight declaring that they had set a precedent and every future debt increase also would be coupled with spending cuts.
Mr. Boehner vowed that the cuts would match “dollar for dollar” the amount of every future debt increase. Mr. McConnell was less specific, saying instead that “never again will any president, from either party, be allowed to raise the debt ceiling without being held accountable for it by the American people.”
But 2011 turned out to be the high point. In a 2013 debt fight, Congress won no new spending restraints but got Senate Democrats to agree to write a budget for the first time in years. Democrats followed through, but then House Republicans balked at going to conference and working out a final agreement.
Republicans won no concessions in last year’s debt fight, instead settling on the debt-ceiling holiday that suspended the limit until this coming weekend.
Ed. Note: Republished from The Washington Times. CLICK HERE to read the original.
This content is published under the Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Please honor attribution.