Bill seeks to repeal national debt ceiling

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A group of lawmakers recently introduced legislation designed to repeal the national debt ceiling.

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U.S. Sens. Brian Schatz (D-HI), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and U.S. Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL) said the bill would address “an arbitrary limit” Congress establishes regarding the amount of funding the Treasury may borrow.

“Paying our debts should be an automatic act, not a politicized weapon used for leverage,” said Schatz said. “It’s clear that the debt ceiling is not about fiscal responsibility, but about unnecessary brinksmanship. Congress has the chance to debate federal spending, and it’s well before the bill comes due. It’s time to stop these attempts to govern through threats and defuse the bomb by eliminating the debt ceiling altogether.”

The legislators maintain the debt limit does not impact government spending, noting such action is authorized and approved through the federal budget and appropriations process. The legislation proponents said the ceiling restricts the Treasury from paying for expenditures already made by Congress.

“For too long, the debt ceiling has been weaponized during budget negotiations, creating the potential for massive disruptions to America’s financial system that would have drastic consequences for the worldwide economy,” Foster said. “Threatening to default on our debt is no different than ordering an expensive meal at a restaurant, eating it, and leaving without paying the bill. The government has an obligation to pay its bills, just as hard-working Americans do. I’m proud to join with my colleagues in the Senate to eliminate the debt ceiling and the unnecessary brinksmanship it allows.”

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