November 19, 2009
"It is important though to recognize if we keep on adding to the debt, even in the midst of this recovery, that at some point, people could lose confidence in the U.S. economy in a way that could actually lead to a double-dip recession." -President Barack Obama, November 17, 2009
According to press reports, Democrats are planning to attach legislation to increase the national debt ceiling to an undetermined upcoming bill, perhaps even the Fiscal Year 2010 Defense funding bill, to avoid taking a clean vote on the nation adding more debt. Even as the President warns that increasing the debt will harm the U.S. economy, Democrats are attempting to heap trillion's in new debt on future generations.
The Fiscal Situation:
- The national debt subject to the statutory limit has jumped to $12.031 trillion or 85 percent of Gross Domestic Product.
- Democrats raised the debt limit from $11.315 trillion to $12.104 when they passed their failed trillion dollar "stimulus" bill, just nine months ago.
- The government is now roughly $70 billion away from reaching the current limit.
- In August, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner notified Congress that the limit would have to be raised by mid-October.
- According to press reports, the White House is seeking a debt limit increase of at least $1 trillion to $1.5 trillion-increasing the limit to anywhere from $13.1 trillion to $13.6 trillion.
- Democrats enacted a debt increase in February, promising that borrowing another trillion dollars would create jobs "immediately" and unemployment would not rise above 8 percent. However, last month, there were 190,000 job losses and unemployment reached 10.2 percent-a 26 year high.
- Since Democrats took control of Congress in January, 2007, the nation's debt has increased by 39 percent, from $8.670 trillion to $12.031 trillion.
- Under the President's budget, debt will soar from $9.961 trillion at the beginning of 2009 to more than $24.4 trillion in 2019-an increase of 144 percent.
- The Democrat budget for FY 2010 raised the limit to $13.223 trillion in 2010, or 9.2 percent above the current debt limit. Under the so-called "Gephardt rule," a debt limit attached to a budget resolution is deemed to have passed in the House, but the Senate must still pass the increase. It has yet to do so.
- Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus has made it clear Democrats may even hide behind troops to pass a debt increase by any means necessary, saying, "I care less how it's done so long as it is done."
- Before calling for more debt to fund his spending spree, then Senator Obama said of an earlier debt limit increase, "Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership."
- According to Bloomberg, the White House will use "any legislative vehicle" to increase the debt limit-a position at odds with the President's recently stated commitment to reducing deficits and debt.
For additional information, contact:
The House Republican Conference Policy Office