U.S. Battle Over Debt Ceiling Looms Large In Congress

(TotalConservative.com) – The U.S. is readily approaching its $31.4 trillion credit limit, the debt limit for national spending, which isn’t surprising given how much the federal government has spent on things like Ukraine and pork-laden budget bills. The battle over raising the debt ceiling occurs regularly in congress, with the ever-present threat that if a budget agreement is not passed by both houses and signed by the president the government would shut down triggering an economic calamity.

The new Republican majority in the House led by Speaker McCarthy will have additional leverage with their slim lead on Democrats to request spending cuts or other promises in exchange for agreeing to pass a debt ceiling rise. “This is our moment to change the behavior,” McCarthy expressed Tuesday, January 10th, on Fox’s “Hannity.”

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre chastised, “Attempts to exploit the debt ceiling as leverage will not work. There will be no hostage-taking.”

The government is expected to hit the debt ceiling sometime in January or February 2023, and once that happens the Treasury Department has “extraordinary measures” they can deploy to buy time. These are financial maneuvers that are temporary and limited whereby the Treasury moves cash around to cover the gaps. This could stave off a crisis until the summer.

McCarthy is also constrained by new rules in the House that allowed any lawmaker to trigger a vote to remove him from the Speaker position. This will force the issue to be resolved through debate and discussion which isn’t something Congress has been very apt to do.

Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) was one of the hard-line holdouts who refused to vote for McCarthy, ultimately voting present in the fifteenth and final round. He refused to rule out an attempt to replace McCarthy should he prove unworthy of the position by complying with Democratic demands without a fight. “We will use the tools of the House to enforce the terms of the agreement,” he said Sunday, January 8th on CNN.

Rep. Bob Good (R-VA) is another member of the House who voted present for McCarthy. He wants to see his Republicans “leveraging power to accomplish what you need to accomplish.”

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