October 30, 2013

Should Congress yield control of the debt limit?

WASHINGTON — In the wake of the latest confrontation that pushed the nation to the brink of financial default, lawmakers are posing a management question: Can we continue to trust Congress with raising the nation's debt ceiling?

Sen. Barbara Boxer is among a growing group of lawmakers and outside budget experts that say no. "Paying your bills shouldn't be tied to anything else," Boxer said Tuesday.

The United States is the only country in the world that requires a separate vote to raise the debt ceiling to borrow money to pay for spending it has already approved. Denmark has a somewhat similar process, but it is not similarly political.

The California Democrat is advocating legislation to rework the budget process to give the president more authority to raise the debt limit, making it harder for Congress to threaten default. The bill would require veto-proof margins in both chambers to block a president from raising the nation's borrowing limit.

"These are essential functions of government; they should never be used as weapons of mass destruction," said Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, who introduced the bill with Boxer and Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.

Read the entire piece here: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/10/29/should-congress-get-rid-of-the-debt-limit-vote/3297417/

By:  Susan Davis
Source: USA Today