With the United States less than two weeks away from a potentially catastrophic default, Rep. Scott Peters has introduced two bills aimed at ending the political brinkmanship.
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Peters, who represents Coronado, Poway and much of San Diego, introduced the “Protect America’s Credit Act” and the “Pay Down the Debt Act” late Tuesday.
The first bill would link the debt limit to the gross national product, so that Congress would not need to increase the limit if debt remains stable or is declining as a share of the economy. The second bill would require legislators, regardless of political party or rank, to cut the debt if it is rising as a share of the economy.
“Our economy, and the American people, cannot afford for Congress to play games with our national debt. Reckless gamesmanship threatens our global leadership and undercuts our ability to expand opportunities for families here at home,” Peters said in a statement.
“This legislation will ensure that the government pays its bills and does not default on its credit. It is still too easy right now for a small faction in Congress to put the entire economy at risk in order to score political points,” he added.
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has warned that without an increase in the debt ceiling, the federal government will be unable to pay all of its bills after Nov. 3. Lew said the Treasury cannot prioritize spending, so foreign creditors, Social Security recipients, military personal and government contractors could all find their checks missing.
Conservative Tea Party Republicans in the House have demanded that social program be cut in return for an increase in the debt ceiling.
In 2011, a lengthy impasse in increasing the debt ceiling led Standard & Poor’s to downgrade the America’s credit rating and caused the “Black Monday” market selloff.
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