Rep. Scott Peters speaks on the House Floor. Image from C-Span

Every few months it seems that Congress plays a game of chicken over America’s credit rating, with some members threatening to push the nation into a cataclysmic default to achieve often unrelated partisan goals.

Reps. Scott Peters from San Diego and Jodey Arrington of Texas have introduced a bill to prevent “future brinksmanship on the debt ceiling” and promote greater fiscal responsibility.

“Failing to extend the debt limit can have catastrophic consequences, and we must stop playing politics with the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. These games, however, are a symptom of a bigger problem: Congress currently doesn’t have a bipartisan way to deal with our national debt,” said Peters.

House Resolution 6139 — the Responsible Budgeting Act — would would offer two options for Congress to address the debt limit. The first is to pass a budget resolution that satisfies specific debt reduction measures while simultaneously passing a joint resolution the president can sign to suspend the debt limit until the next fiscal year.

If Congress fails to pass this concurrent budget resolution, the second option allows the president to suspend the debt ceiling himself via a written request, which Congress could vote to override within 30 days of its submission. This suspension request must be submitted along with a debt reduction proposal to reduce the debt-to-GDP ratio that Congress must consider.

“This bill will eliminate the dangerous threats of the debt limit while putting us on a path towards greater fiscal health. If we can tackle the brinksmanship associated with the debt ceiling and improve Congress’ approach to budgeting, we can ensure a stronger, more stable economic future,” said Peters.

The country is currently on a path to run out of borrowing authority sometime between Dec. 21 and Jan. 28, though Senate leaders indicated Tuesday that a deal to raise the limit is in the works.

Show comments

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.