Washington, D.C. - Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) introduced the End the Threat of Default Act to repeal the national debt ceiling, an arbitrary limit set by Congress on the amount of funding that the United States Treasury may borrow.
"Eliminating the debt limit would be a constructive step toward refocusing the priorities of Congress away from partisan squabbles and onto real challenges that people sent us here to address-like the fiscal health of our government," Bennet said. "This is an opportunity for Republicans and Democrats to work together to prevent manufactured crises and lift the threat of default off our economy for good."
Bennet wrote an op-ed outlining the misconceptions surrounding the debt limit and the key reasons we should eliminate it.
In practice, the debt limit has no impact on government spending, which is authorized and approved through the federal budget and appropriations process. Instead, the ceiling restricts the U.S. Treasury from paying for expenditures already made by Congress. This disconnected process consistently requires Congress to raise the ceiling before it is reached, a politicized procedure that often leads to threats of defaulting on the government's obligation to pay its bills, leading to potential financial disruptions that would cause massive damage on Main Streets across the country.
The United States is one of only two democratic countries with a statutory debt ceiling, and the only one that could single-handedly cause a global recession. Since 1960, Congress has acted more than 75 separate times to raise, temporarily extend, or revise the definition of the debt limit. In 2011, the crisis surrounding raising the debt ceiling led credit rating agency Standard & Poor's to downgrade the U.S. government's credit rating for the first time ever.
The legislation is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Chris Coons (D-DE).
Click HERE for a copy of the bill text.