Treasury Secretary To Control Debt Ceiling In Democratic Legislation

Democrats in the House and Senate are taking action to reform the debt ceiling process in order to prevent a default crisis. This move comes in response to the recent disagreements between Congress members regarding the debt ceiling.

The proposed legislation, known as the Debt Ceiling Reform Act, is being sponsored by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA). According to them, the legislation will address the challenges that have arisen due to debt ceiling disputes and take control of the situation.

Under the proposed bill, the Treasury Department would be granted the authority to continue making payments for the country’s existing bills. Speaking to Wall Street Journal, Durbin said it is crucial to entrust the responsibility of managing the debt ceiling to the Treasury Secretary. 

However, Congress would have a period of 30 days to pass a veto-proof joint disapproval resolution if they wish to prevent this. The resolution would require a two-thirds majority vote in both the House and Senate for the bill to pass.

The issue of the debt ceiling has been a contentious one on Capitol Hill. While Democrats are largely opposed to cuts in spending for social programs such as Covid-relief funds and the changes in the food stamp program. Republicans have been calling for reductions in government spending as they believe the debt ceiling might be a problem to the country’s priorities in the future.

Many Republican lawmakers, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), are particularly concerned about the lack of a defense spending increase in the legislation. Given China’s expanding influence in the Indo-Pacific region and globally, legislators on the right argue that it is essential to allocate more funds to the Department of Defense. 

Republican senators are hoping to amend the bill to address this concern and provide additional resources for defense.

This move comes after President Joe Biden and Congress narrowly avoided an economically catastrophic default. On June 3, Biden signed the Fiscal Responsibility Act as part of an agreement with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) designed to help the country avoid a default on June 5.

While the bipartisan agreement pleased many who saw it as the best approach to the issue, there has been some pushback from some Democrats who have expressed concerns about some of the changes enacted.