Treasury Secretary Jack Lew sent a letter to Congress announcing that the debt limit must be raised by February 27, or the nation would risk a technical default. The debt limit or debt ceiling is the total amount of money that the US government is authorized to borrow to meet its existing legal obligations, including Social Security and Medicare benefits, military salaries, interest on the national debt, tax refunds, and other payments. The debt limit does not authorize new spending commitments. It simply allows the government to finance existing legal obligations that Congresses and presidents of both parties have made in the past. (Learn more.)
Raising the debt limit isn’t new. Since 1960, Congress has acted 78 separate times to permanently raise, temporarily extend, or revise the definition of the debt limit -– 49 times under Republican presidents and 29 times under Democratic presidents. Here are some recent proposals in Congress addressing the debt limit:
Bills Related to the Debt Ceiling
We’re spotlighting bills related to the debt ceiling or limit. Weigh in and POPVOX will deliver your message to Congress, guaranteed.
- S 1569
To ensure the complete and timely payment of the obligations of the United States Government until December 31, 2014.
- HR 3216
To ensure that members of the Armed Forces and Federal law enforcement officers continue to receive their pay and allowances despite a shutdown of the Federal Government or in the event that the debt of the US Government reaches the statutory limit.
- HR 4021
To suspend the application of the limit on the Nation’s debt for a 10-year period, to reduce the pay of Members of Congress for failing to meet fiscal sustainability targets.
- HR 4043
To suspend the debt ceiling temporarily, to hold the salaries of Members of a House of Congress in escrow if the House of Congress does not agree to a budget resolution or pass regular appropriation bills on a timely basis during a Congress.
- HR 3268
Eliminating the debt ceiling for a period defined.
Please keep in mind that highlighting a bill doesn’t imply a POPVOX endorsement in any way. Rather, we’re simply trying to offer one more way to stay informed of an overwhelmingly complex legislative system.