As the snow and ice of winter finally begins their annual retreat, the American political system seems to be making an annual tradition of its own: a fight over the debt ceiling. Last Friday, Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew wrote a letter to Congress stating that the U.S. Treasury would begin to take “extraordinary measures” in an effort to fund the government because the country would reach its borrowing limit on March 16. These measures temporarily fix the issue, but Congress will need to authorize another debt ceiling raise by the Fall so the country can continue paying the bills it has already incurred and avoid another financial crisis.
Over the past four years, the government was shut down, the nation’s credit rating was decreased, and we saw a routine legislative procedure become a dramatic showdown with the country’s economic future at stake.
When asked about another impending debate about the debt ceiling, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, restated that he was “certainly not going to shut down the government or default on the national debt,” but quickly followed that by saying, “it might carry some other important legislation that we can agree on in connection with it.” It is unclear how willing Congress is to get into yet another protracted and potentially damaging debate, but the recent history and current rhetoric certainly is not encouraging.
Is this a responsible way to govern our economy? How can we avoid these repetitive and contentious debates about the same issues? Please go to the EAGLE app to discuss, learn, and contact your government representatives.