Rep. Kevin McCarthy must OK raising the budget ceiling

The House Speaker must rein in activist Republicans who feel no compunction with bringing the US economy to a halt



March 14, 2023 - 3:51 PM

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images/TNS)

President Joe Biden’s proposed budget for the federal fiscal year that starts on Oct. 1 would spend $6.8 trillion off revenues of only $5 trillion in taxes collected. The imbalance, a $1.8 trillion deficit, would get added to the national debt of $31.4 trillion that has been building since 1789. That’s how it’s always worked and the full faith and credit of the United States allows Congress to borrow to keep the federal government running.

The problem is that since Jan. 19 of this year, the U.S. Treasury has been at the legal limit of debt it can issue. The $31.4 trillion was capped 13 months earlier, on Dec. 16, 2021, when the limit was raised by $2.5 trillion. Normally, the Congress would agree to boost the maximum allowable borrowing, something it has always done since the debt ceiling was first implemented in 1917.

BUT THIS Congress, and we mean a hard-right chunk of House Republicans under Speaker Kevin McCarthy, refuses to raise the ceiling unless they get Biden and the Democrats to cut some of their favored programs, a naked political demand thrown into a situation that should be above partisanship.

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