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National Debt

Obama to Ask for Another Debt Limit Increase

  • January 06, 2012

    President Barack Obama plans to ask Congressfor an increase in the debt limit in the next week, according to reports by various news outlets. By December 30th the debt limit is projected to fall within $100 billion of the current cap. Obama is expected to ask for additional borrowing authority to increase the limit by $1.2 trillion. The debt limit currently stands at $15.194 trillion and would increase to $16.394 trillion with the request.

    Under the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA), Congress can only vote to block the debt-ceiling increase with a disapproval resolution. Lawmakers will have 15 days within receiving the request to vote down the debt limit increase. This one-time increase stands apart from the usual route the government must take to increase the debt limit. Typically, Members of Congress would have to vote in favor of a bill to increase the limit. However, the BCA which was approved by Congress and signed into law by Obama in August, granted an immediate increase of $1.2 trillion, while setting up the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction (the Supercommittee), and also teed up this pending request for a $1.2 trillion increase.

    As we saw in November, the Supercommittee failed to find the cuts to offset the increase in the debt limit. Now, without any solution on the table, Americans are on the hook for an additional $1.2 trillion in spending. It’s likely that Congress will not even consider a disapproval resolution, as the House and Senate are both not meeting for business until after Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – January 16th, 2012.

    It will be shameful if Congress does not return to give this debt limit increase request the full debate it deserves. The American people elected their representatives to Washington with the expectation that their views and concerns would be heard. Instead, it appears that Congress may not even act, while handling the President responsible for the greatest accumulation of federal debt in history, an additional blank check.CapitolWatch urges lawmakers to return to Washington and take action on a real plan which puts a stop to our federal government’s reckless spending of our taxdollars.


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