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YES on a “Clean” Debt Limit Bill

Tell your representative to vote “YES” on a “clean” bill to prevent default on borrowing and bills.

Have you ever taken out a loan? If so, you have tried to get low interest rates, and reasonable terms for repayment of the loan, right? The size of the loan and the interest owed are your “debt.”

Sometimes people need to increase the amount of the loan, which usually extends the time over which it is to be paid and the interest needs to be paid. This is between you and your lender. The federal government borrows to cover its expenses and at the same time pays down the debt and the interest, just as you would. However, the Congress places a limit on the amount of debt we are allowed to carry. The costs of two wars, decreased revenue and increased need for services - due to high unemployment – have pushed the nation to the “debt limit” set by Congress. Before the first week of August, Congress must vote to allow more debt – so we don’t default on any payments due. Congress needs to determine how much more to allow the government to borrow (raise the debt limit).

This is usually done with a simple bill to raise the limit by a given amount of money, with no restrictions attached. However, House leaders want to tie this vote to extraordinary cuts in spending to bring down the deficit. NETWORK believes that there should be a “clean” vote to prevent default. House leaders are giving us that opportunity by preparing for a vote next week on a “clean” increase – meaning not attached to efforts to reduce the deficit. The leadership wants the vote to fail. That would be a message that the nation does not trust that we will make the hard decisions about deficit reduction unless we are pushed into the corner. NETWORK wants you to help the bill to pass. 

Action to reduce the deficit does not have to be in tandem with the increase in the debt limit; they are not intertwined. We believe that, as a nation, we will make the hard decisions after appropriate study of the consequences of each alternative. We further believe that you, the constituents, support the reasoned study of alternatives and their longer tern consequences, which cannot be completed before time runs out on a debt limit decision.

Call or email your representative with the message: VOTE YES on the clean debt limit bill. This is most likely to come to the floor during Memorial Day week – when the House, but not the Senate, is in session. 

Talking points:

  • Vote YES on a clean debt limit increase.
  • Mixing the debt limit increase with deficit reduction creates confusion and is damaging:
    • Does not allow for reasoned study of options, with attention to the consequences of each
    • Makes less clear the reason for a vote of “yes” or of “no.”The deficit reduction actions being considered are all spending cuts, with no revenue increases.
  • The deficit reduction actions being considered have great negative economic impact on persons/households with the least economic power, and the least means of adjusting to loss of services.
  • The wealthiest members of our communities must make some sacrifices, particularly given that they have benefitted the most from what has driven us into this deficit hole.
  • Corporate welfare (loopholes) is a large contributor to the deficit. These loopholes must be addressed in order to contribute to the solutions.