Democrats and Republicans Will Clash Again in Mere Months Over Debt Ceiling

Debt Ceiling - Dollar making a crack in the roof - IllustrationStop me if you've heard this one before - the Democrats and Republicans are set to clash on the issue of raising the nation's debt ceiling.

If you've gotten tired of hearing the words "fiscal cliff" (and I'm sure that you probably have), prepare yourself for another phrase that will be bombarding your eardrums soon enough - "debt ceiling".

There was a time, many moons ago, when it was thought that the Democrats and Republicans would be able to reach a "grand bargain" to avoid the fiscal cliff. This "grand bargain" would deal with a number of issues in one fell swoop, including the need to once again raise the nation's debt ceiling.

This didn't end up happening, as the Democrats and Republicans fashioned a deal that prevented the country from going off the "fiscal cliff" but didn't deal with another pressing issue - the "debt ceiling".

Back in the summer of 2011, the Republicans and Democrats clashed over the nation's debt ceiling. An agreement was eventually reached, but the damage was done - S&P ended up downgrading the credit rating of the United States as a result of the crisis.

Here are the details of the bill that was passed back then:

124 Stat.251
August 2, 2011

Notes: Increased the debt limit to 14,694.0 Effective after September 21, 2011, increased the debt limit to 15,194.0 Effective after January 27, 2012, increased the debt limit to 16,394.0

New Limit: $16,394.0 Billion

So, $16.394 trillion is the current debt ceiling. Where is the debt sitting at now? Let's take a look:


As you can see - the debt ceiling needs to be increased. The Treasury Department can take "extraordinary measures" to buy the country a bit more time, but the debt ceiling must be raised in February.


Mere days after the "fiscal cliff" battle ended, the Democrats and Republicans are gearing up for another vicious fight, this time over the nation's debt ceiling. What will happen this time around?


Here are some stats regarding the 91 debt ceiling increases that have taken place over the last 72 years:

Republican President, 54 Debt Ceiling Changes
Democratic President, 37 Debt Ceiling Changes

Republican Senate Majority, 22 Debt Ceiling Changes
Democratic Senate Majority, 69 Debt Ceiling Changes

Republican House Majority, 9 Debt Ceiling Changes
Democratic House Majority, 82 Debt Ceiling Changes

Source: Debt Ceiling Changes Since 1940

Filed under: General Knowledge

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