Partisan politics is a threat to the debt ceiling and a potential (historical) default on U.S. obligations.
The U.S. government monetary and fiscal policy is basically putting taxes, revenue, and U.S. securities (borrowed money) to work for the nation on which the economic well-being of its citizens depends. This includes paying our bills for the expenditure of public funds (budgets) — the debt ceiling.
Sometime in October 2021, the government is expected to hit the “debt ceiling” — meaning it no longer has the authority to borrow the money it needs to pay its bills … unless the debt ceiling is raised.
The debt is due to past legislation and financial decisions, including the $2 trillion corporate tax cut by former President Donald Trump, as well as massive coronavirus pandemic relief packages approved under both the Trump and Biden presidencies. The debt ceiling was suspended in 2019 until August 2021 under Trump with the Senate Republican majority and Democrats passing the bill, 67 to 28. The national debt ceiling was repeatedly raised under Trump ($7.8 trillion) by bipartisan vote.
Senator Ted Cruz has said that he’ll filibuster debt ceiling legislation and block any vote by the Senate to raise the debt ceiling. Cruz filibustered against the healthcare law (Obamacare) in 2013 and stopped congressional functions while reciting Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham.
Senator Rand Paul filibustered an appropriations bill that shutdown the government during February 2018.
The government was also shutdown on December 22, 2018 until January 25, 2019 after President Trump vetoed an appropriations bill. It had funded the defense department and pandemic aid but not a border wall.
Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell has repeatedly said Senate Republicans will not vote to raise the current debt ceiling. He is playing a game of “chicken” that could mean the Senate will not have the votes to raise it; the government could default on its loans for the first time in history, have its credit rating downgraded, and reduce federal spending by approximately 40 percent.
The financial interests of the U.S., e.g., Social Security payments, Medicare benefits, federal civilian and military salaries, and interest rates, would be impacted and immediately harmed by the Republicans not voting to pay for expenses and money already spent.
Setting borrowing limits has been a power reserved for Congress, to which the Constitution grants sole authority to raise revenue, spend taxpayer dollars, “pay the debts” and “borrow money on the credit of the United States.”
The debt ceiling game of “chicken” is brazen and extremely detrimental to the interests of the United States. Republican members of Congress voting against raising the current debt ceiling (“payment of the national debt”) or not voting at all shall do irreparable injury to the United States.
Republican actions or inaction that undermines 1) the constitutional duty to pay the national debt and 2) the confidence in the validity and rating of the U.S. public debt is treasonous.
We pay our bills.