“NO” on the Clean Debt Limit Suspension (Senate)

Today the Senate will vote on the so-called Temporary Debt Limit Extension Act (S. 540), which would suspend the nation’s debt ceiling until March 15, 2015.  During that time, President Obama and Congress will have a blank check to spend and borrow.  This is extremely reckless given our nation’s $17.3 trillion debt.  Every American household already owes more than $140,000 on the debt.

The Heritage Foundation explains the act “renders the debt limit inoperative,” which matters “because when Congress fails to limit the debt it effectively abdicates its Constitutional power to control borrowing.”

They also note:

Approaching the debt limit is a very public and focused affair. It forces the American people and their representatives to confront the fact that the budget is unbalanced and that deficit spending adds to the already massive national debt.

It’s also an effective opportunity to shame Congress and the President for their reckless spending and borrowing, which is why congressional challengers often highlight an incumbent’s vote to increase the debt ceiling in election campaigns.

The Heritage Foundation’s Romina Boccia also explains:

The debt limit serves as an important congressional check on federal spending and borrowing. Without a debt limit, all control over borrowing decisions shifts to the Treasury secretary, who is appointed by the president. Effectively, this concentrates borrowing authority in the executive branch, and hands the president a blank check to borrow against the U.S. taxpayer.

Rather than suspending the debt limit again, Congress should “put the budget on a path to balance in order to avoid a much worse fiscal crisis in the future—before deciding how much more to borrow.”

Heritage Action opposes S. 540 and will include it as a vote on our legislative scorecard.


Heritage Action Scorecard
The Debt Ceiling Returns as National Debt Reaches $17.3 Trillion
Double-Whammy: The No-Debt-Limit-Bill Increases Spending and the Debt
Bring Back the Debt Ceiling