What are they THINKING? Â NO politician, NO party is above the law! Â ANY public servant that violates the Constitution – the ultimate law of the land – needs to be tossed out on their rear ends, regardless of party!
In legislationÂ filed yesterday, the House GOP Leadership made an important twist in their plan to pass a short-term increase in the debt ceiling. Rather than increase the debt ceiling by a few hundred billion dollars, buying them time for further talks on the budget, they have opted to “suspend” the debt ceiling. Its a blatant abdication of their constitutional authority. It’s an ominous sign of the talks to come.
Article 1 of the US Constitution gives Congress the exclusive authority to borrow money to fund the government. Up until World War I, Congress would approve every bond issuance. The borrowing demands of the war made this impractical, so Congress authorized a “debt ceiling,” where the government could freely borrow up to a statutory limit and then go back to Congress to approve additional borrowing. Think of it as giving your teenager a pre-paid debit card.
With this measure, the government had more flexibility to manage its affairs while preserving the Constitutional principle that Congress controlled the purse strings.
“Suspending” the debt ceiling until May upends this principle. Upon enactment, the government’s borrowing authority would be unlimited until May. Presumably, the government could borrow trillions in this window, providing either the markets or the Fed would meet the new supply of debt.
Worse, however, is that the GOP move establishes a very slippery precedent. The left has been agitating to simply eliminate the idea of a debt ceiling entirely. For all its flaws, the ceiling at least guarantees we will have some debate about government spending. The left finds this annoying. Unfortunately, the GOP plan to “suspend” the ceiling provides at least partial support to this argument. If we can “suspend” it for three months, why not a year? Once you’ve surrendered the constitutional principle behind the ceiling where and how can you draw a line?
Last week, FreedomWorks launched the website,Â www.DCDoYourJob.com, to combat the pressure for a clean debt ceiling raise and to give grassroots America a platform to take back its voice in the secretive, closed-door budgeting process. The message from taxpayers is clear: There should be no debt ceiling increases until Washington returns to regular order and passes a budget.
FreedomWorks is urging all membersÂ to demandÂ that Congress resist raising the debt ceiling clean, and instead return to regular order, do their jobs, and pass a budget as required by law.