The federal government hit the debt ceiling today–which means the U.S. Treasury has capped its federal debt of $14.3 trillion. Now, the only way that ceiling can be raised is through a congressional vote. So, should the government hike it? President Obama and Republican Congress members have two different answers to that question.
Republican Congressman Tim Scott of South Carolina’s 1st District says “no.”
I see no reason to raise the debt ceiling to be honest with you. There are some things on the table in order for us to have a meaningful dialogue about the consequences of raising the debt ceiling.
Scott says raising the debt ceiling would help give the government a time break, but it’s not fiscally responsible.
The fact that we raise our debt ceiling buys us time, but it only complicates our problem. It’s kind of like having a 17-year-old or 18-year-old with a credit card and they spend all they have, and they come back and say: You know, I just need another $1,000 to get me through next year. But, the revenue is about the same, the spending habits are about the same. There’s no logic of saying ‘yes, let’s approve an increase in the debt ceiling of that young person.
Scott says President Obama may be in favor of raising the debt ceiling now but he says that’s not always been the case.
I’m looking forward to giving President, then-Senator, Obama’s speech on the floor of the House, which simply said ‘It is not necessary to raise the debt ceiling. Let me tell you why: It is irresponsible to raise the debt ceiling as it is.’ That is a great speech by the senator and I hope we have the opportunity to play it again on the floor of the House.
Scott says House Republicans have a message:
There’s no question that if there is a need for a $2.3 trillion increase between now and next year, there must be $2.3 trillion in spending cuts over the next few years. And, there must be a balanced budget amendment that the states have an opportunity to weigh in on this fiasco.
Congress has until August 2 to make a decision on raising the debt limit.