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Why the debt ceiling deal doesn't solve the problem long term

debt ceiling
Posted at 12:53 PM, Oct 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-07 15:53:34-04

WASHINGTON — A deal has been reached between Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senator Mitch McConnell (R-K.Y.) to temporarily raise the debt ceiling and avoid a default by the Treasury Department.

"Republican and Democratic members and staff negotiated through the night," McConnell said on the Senate floor this morning.

"We have reached an agreement to extend the debt ceiling," Schumer proudly said as well on the floor.

The country was set to default on its debt on October 18 unless Congress raised the debt limit, which is what allows the country to pay its bills.

Inaction temporarily put everything from Social Security checks to military pay to child tax credit payments at risk.

While the bipartisan agreement has temporarily saved the country from an economic crisis, it hasn't solved the problem long term.

THE DEBATE WILL BE BACK SOON

The agreement only increases the debt limit by around $480 billion.

Senate aides have said that will allow the country to pay its bills until December 3.

For now, that is the new debt limit deadline although the Treasury Department may be able to extend it using their resources for a few additional weeks.

December 3 is the exact same date as to when federal government funding is set to expire, putting the country at risk again for a possible shutdown.

Does this all sound familiar? It means the same debate that's been happening over the last few weeks will pick up again soon.

IS THE DEBT LIMIT NECESSARY?

But does the U.S. need a debt limit rule? Some say no and that it's time to get rid of the rule and the debate.

H.R.3305, the “End the Threat of Default Act, ” has been introduced in Congress by some members.

If it passes, it would no longer require Congress to raise the debt limit.

Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen was asked about it last week and whether or not she would support the idea.

“Yes I would," Yellen said. "I believe it's very destructive to put the President, myself where we can't pay the bills."

So far, however, that legislation has not been seriously considered.

Instead, it appears Congress wants to reprise the confrontation come December.

Republicans still want Democrats to raise the debt limit in the long term on their own. Democrats still want the debt addressed in a bipartisan way going forward.