H.R. 1954: To implement the President''s request to increase the statutory limit on the public debt

H.R. 1954

To implement the President''s request to increase the statutory limit on the public debt

Rep. Dave Camp

May 31, 2011 (112th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact

Floor Situation

On Tuesday, May 31, 2011, the House is scheduled to consider H.R. 1954, a bill to implement the President's request to increase the statutory limit on the public debt, under a suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds Majority vote.  H.R. 1954 was introduced by Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) on May 24, 2011, and was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means, which took no official action.

Bill Summary

H.R. 1954 would increase the current statutory debt limit by $2.406 trillion, from $14.294 trillion $16.7 trillion.  The 16.8 percent increase would be the fourth time the debt ceiling has been increased since February 2009. 


The statutory national debt limit sets the legal ceiling for how much money the federal government may borrow.  The national debt combines both the total debt held by the public (money owed to U.S. debt holders) and intergovernmental holdings (debt held by the U.S. government in certain trust funds).  According to the Department of Treasury, the national debt subject to the statutory limit has reached the debt ceiling and is currently at $14.294 trillion or 95 percent of Gross Domestic Product.  The current share of the debt is $48,893 for every man, woman, and child in the U.S.  According to Treasury Secretary Geithner, the Treasury Department is in a position to use “extraordinary measures” to extend borrowing authority through August 2, 2011.  If no further borrowing could occur because the debt ceiling had been reached, the federal government would be forced to rely solely on incoming receipts and spending would be drastically curtailed. 

Over the past two years, President Obama and congressional Democrats have overseen the largest budget deficits in the history of the U.S.  They’ve maxed out our nation’s credit cards and are asking us to increase their credit limit without making any commitment to stop this dangerous level of spending.  Republicans believe that if the president and Washington Democrats want us to pay their bills, they are going to have to cut up the credit cards.  Any increase in the debt limit must be accompanied by substantial spending cuts and reforms to ensure that we keep cutting.  The Obama Administration and more than 100 Democrats in Congress have called on Congress to quickly consider a “clean” debt limit bill that will raise the limit without any spending cuts or reforms.  House Republicans will allow a vote on a clean bill to show the White House and Washington Democrats that the American people want Washington to stop spending money we don’t have and sending the bill to our children and grandchildren.  This vote will demonstrate to President Obama, Secretary Geithner and House Democrats that they should abandon this unreasonable position because it is so far out of step with the rest of America.  We can’t afford to accommodate the spending agenda of the Democrats with yet another blind increase in the debt limit.  We need to cut up the credit cards and demand real spending reforms.  To create jobs and save our country from national bankruptcy, we must stop spending money we don’t have.


According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the bill would not directly impact costs or savings because it does not change any tax or spending policies.  The bill would, however, allow the U.S. to increase borrowing under the statutory cap by $2.406 trillion.