Republicans and Democrats Doing Early Jockeying on Debt Ceiling Issue

Elections Fight - Elephant vs. Donkey - IllustrationSurprise - another fight over the nation's debt ceiling is brewing, and this fight will very likely prove to be just as ugly and contentious as the last.

In mid-May, House Speaker John Boehner said that it would be "irresponsible" to raise the nation's debt ceiling without taking "dramatic steps to reduce spending and reform the budget process." Boehner continued by saying that the debt limit is a "welcome" event that forces action "in a town that has become infamous for inaction".

Earlier this week, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi raised the nuclear option of using the 14th Amendment to avoid the debt ceiling crisis altogether. The 14th Amendment states that the validity of the public debt of the United States shall not be questioned. In short, the 14th Amendment, in the minds of many, would allow President Obama to raise the debt ceiling directly and bypass Congress altogether.

Pelosi's reported mentioning of the 14th Amendment as a way around an upcoming debt ceiling crisis speaks to the highly contentious battle that looms in the near future - the two sides are already digging in their heels, and this fight will very likely be another nasty one.

The current debt ceiling is set at $16.394 trillion. The US debt total currently sits at roughly $15.78 trillion, and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has said that he believes that the United States would hit the debt ceiling by the end of 2012. If the country takes "extraordinary measures", the raising of the debt ceiling could likely be put off until early 2013.


The debt ceiling showdown of 2011 created a tremendous amount of bad blood that is surely going to spill over into the next showdown. Expect the vitriol between the two sides to be much higher than what we saw in 2011, and that was pretty bad as it was.

The showdown of 2011 resulted in Standard & Poor's downgrading the country's pristine credit rating. Who knows what will happen this time around, especially with the two sides seemingly so far apart.


Batten down the hatches - we're in for another nasty fight at the end of this year, regardless of who wins the Presidential election.

Filed under: General Knowledge

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