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Feds to Congress: Fix the Debt Ceiling


Many federal employees for weeks now have joined other everyday Americans in calling on Congress to do something—and fast—about fixing the lingering debt ceiling standoff on Capitol Hill. 

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and a chorus of economic experts in government, banking and academia have all signaled increasing concern that what they see as a dangerous legislative game of chicken going on right now on in Washington could derail not just federal spending—but the economy as a whole. 

Yellen is warning that failure to act decisively will cause a recession, and recently she reiterated her support for, in the future, completely removing Congress from control over the issue. 
 
Among feds, the National Treasury Employees Union is speaking out for the government workforce and the public, telling our country’s lawmakers—particularly those who have announced their refusal to raise the limit—to turn around, face facts and vote to raise it. 

“NTEU members across the country are urging Congress to do its job and raise the debt limit to maintain the full faith and credit of the United States,” the union said in a release this week. “The Department of the Treasury has made it clear that failing to increase the debt limit would have catastrophic economic consequences and cause the government to default on its legal obligations leading to a financial crisis.” 

“NTEU calls on Congress to act immediately to raise the debt limit,” the union stated
 
Other federal employee advocacy organizations—such as the National Association of Active and Retired Employees (NARFE)—have also spoken on the issue in recent months, expressing their concerns. And numerous news and related sites catering to federal community and financial interests (such as GovExec and the Washington Post among the former and the Financial Times of the latter) recently have provided detailed (and harrowing) analyses of the dangers of a congressional train wreck leading to no debt limit legislation. 

Certain other sites, including National Review, have published opinion and analysis pieces arguing in favor of those on the Hill, led by the Republican minority, who are resisting raising the ceiling.

Reader comments

Fri, Oct 8, 2021

It's not just the debt limit. It's giving money to other countries for military-related matters, such as the 1 billion that went to Israel. I have nothing against Israel, but why are Americans always considered last? When are AMERICANs going to be FIRST in Congress' mind(s)? Stop the tax breaks for the rich. It's time they paid their fair share, but the members of Congress are too dependent on their campaign donations, so they're going to suck up to the rich and ignore the rest of America. Stop giving out handouts, make people get off their butts and find a job. As a taxpayer, I'm tired of seeing my tax dollars go to some halfwit who refuses to look for a job because he/she can just sit back and wait on a stimulus check.

Thu, Oct 7, 2021 Puregoldj Bethesda, MD

The debt ceiling law needs to be repealed. As it stands, it is an obsolete law, which is (no other way to say it) patently stupid. As structured, a vote to raise the debt limit is a vote to pay for what has already been spent (BTW, the vast majority on this vote would be deficits run up by Trump!). Of course we have to pay! Anyone suggesting we don't is being grossly irresponsible. A no vote would be disastrous for the economy and ruin the US's credit rating. If the debt ceiling law were actually applied to NEW spending (i.e., Congress couldn't go over the limit with proposed new spending), that would at least make sense, and one could be principled in voting no. The law as structured only enables bad faith actors (and McConnell is the absolute worst!) to blackmail Congress. That is what we are seeing now.

Thu, Oct 7, 2021

This game of "chicken" is not new and has been going on for over 20 years, pretending that it is new is just a way to smear the opposition. I am uncomfortable with those that see the only solution is to "raise" the debt ceiling instead of applying more fiscal discipline and living within our means. Isn't that the first step when it comes to personal finances?

Thu, Oct 7, 2021

Raise the limit! Much of this money is paying for programs pushed and signed by previous presidents, very much so President Trump. Contrary to what you see on Fox News, or hear from Sen. Ron Johnson. This country borrows, and keeps paying the interest on its debts, and it will be able to cover the debts because much of the money is invested in two things that pay off in the end. The American people and their ability to be productive, and our defense and space/rockets and many other industries. These things we pay for out of borrowed money over time pay off. Those who tell you raising the debt ceiling is about paying for the new administration's spending plans. No. Not True. At all. It's paying for borrowing done under previous administrations, so far. And one of the heaviest borrowers? Many trillions? President Trump. A huge red-ink president. And MUCH of his borrowing was because of giving HUGE TAX BREAKS TO RICH PEOPLE, who DONT SPEND THE MONEY THEY SAVE. They bank it or buy luxury goods and experiences that employ VERY FEW PEOPLE (people who cater to the very very rich, and there aren't many of those, are there? The servants of the one percent get a better job picture, maybe.). President Biden on the other hand is proposing to SPEND MORE MONEY ON REGULAR PEOPLE, who will buy more groceries, more education, more travel, more goods, because that's what they do with tax relief and other money. They don't just put it into savings or a new yacht or on tourism in the South Pacific. Regular People, if they get the help Biden proposes, will spend the added money on Main Street, and it will add jobs and economic gains here in the USA !!!! I just do not understand how poorly educated and badly propagandized all these less-than-rich people who watch Fox and buy this lie that raising the debt limit is giving money to Biden's alleged "waste". It's Not True. It pays for past deficit spending, financed by the Treasury. And Mr. Trump was the biggest borrower because he GAVE RICH PEOPLE massive tax breaks they DO NOT NEED and DON'T EVEN HELP the ECONOMY, because they hoard the savings or spend on things that DO NOT GROW JOBS nearly as much as tax breaks and funds for middle class and poor people!

Thu, Oct 7, 2021

So how many times and for how long are they going to continue raising the debt limit and it doesn't fix anything?! What needs fixing is the out of control spending of Congress in the first place.

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