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house Bill H. Joint Res. 99

Disapproving The President's Suspension of The Debt Ceiling

Argument in favor

U.S. law says Congress must approve the amount the U.S. borrows. The President’s suspension of the debt ceiling, grants him a “blank check” to borrow more and overspend.

Argument opposed

The President’s decision to suspend the debt ceiling is necessary to preserve jobs and the economy’s health. Without more loans, the U.S. will default and fall into more financial turmoil.

joint resolution Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house Passed October 30th, 2013
    Roll Call Vote 222 Yea / 191 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Ways and Means
    IntroducedOctober 28th, 2013

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What is House Bill H. Joint Res. 99?

This joint resolution voices Congress’ disapproval of President Obama’s decision to suspend the debt limit.

The debt ceiling — the limit on how much the U.S. can borrow — is meant to curb the U.S. national debt that has accrued to over $17.5 trillion.


In February 2014, President Obama signed legislation that suspended the debt limit until March 2015. The suspension allows the treasury department to borrow money needed to pay obligations that come up during the suspension. The Treasury department can’t exploit the suspension, they can only use it to take loans for government payments due within the duration of the suspension. Suspending the debt limit —  instead of raising it — essentially allows lawmakers to sideline a vote on the debt ceiling, until a later, more desirable date that’s not on an election year.


Specifically, H.J.Res. 99 chastises section 1002(b) of the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2014 which outlines the President ability to issue a certification of a debt limit suspension to Congress.

Impact

The U.S. economy, President Obama, Congress, and the Treasury Department.

Cost of House Bill H. Joint Res. 99

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In Depth:

Suspending the debt ceiling is an incredibly partisan issue. When it passed the House of Representatives, almost every Representative voted with their party. The two side’s opinions differ greatly: While some Republicans say suspending the ceiling will lead to a financial instability, Democrats largely believe that a suspension is needed to avoid more debt and another economic meltdown.  


Upon passing H.J. Res 99, Sponsoring Rep. Todd Young (IN-R)
wrote in a press release:

“Despite the fact that a large number in this body voted to avoid default, it would be a gross mischaracterization to say we approve of a debt limit suspension absent adoption of bold policy reforms that will set our nation on a sustainable fiscal trajectory.”

Regarding the President’s decision to suspend the debt ceiling, White House press secretary Jay Carney said

"That’s a balanced approach that is broadly supported by the American people and it’s the responsible way to reduce our deficit.  It’s a an approach that was endorsed by several bipartisan commissions who have addressed with their own proposals the fiscal challenges we face, and it’s the approach that the President absolutely intends to put forward as he continues negotiations with Congress.”

Since 1944, the U.S. has increased the debt ceiling 94 times, and decreased it 10 times; 54 times by Republicans and 40 times by Democrats. Ronald Reagan has the most increases at 18. And, so far, President Obama has raised the debt ceiling six times, and suspended the debt ceiling twice.

Media:

Press Release Rep. Todd Young (R-IN)

Reuters

The Guardian

Wall Street Journal

The Hill

(Photo Credit: The Debt Lady)

Official Title

Relating to the disapproval of the President's exercise of authority to suspend the debt limit, as submitted under section 1002(b) of the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2014 on October 17, 2013.

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