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house Bill H.R. 3693

Should the National Debt Limit be Abolished?

Argument in favor

The debt limit is an arbitrary number that is primarily used as a political tool to advocate for spending cuts. It should be eliminated, as it encourages Congress to govern by crisis and increases the risk of government shutdowns.

J. scott's Opinion
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08/18/2018
Yes. It’s a silly political obstruction used to distract the country and our politicians from accomplishing anything beyond constantly threatening each other needlessly over nonsense. It’s a fake problem politicians created themselves apparently so they can pretend to solve it and appear heroic. Just stop it people it serves absolutely no useful purpose.
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Christina's Opinion
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08/18/2018
The debt limit is arbitrary and I'm tired of hearing Congress argue about it and use it as a political tool to cut social programs instead of addressing our bloated military budget or Congress' own inability to compromise and get things done.
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burrkitty's Opinion
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08/18/2018
It’s essentially just a hostage tool. It has no real use other than as a “government by crises” flashpoint. Deficit spending doesn’t really matter to the economy. It’s a illusion in a lot of ways. Reagan proved that it doesn’t matter. As soon as people figure out that government budgets don’t work like households or even businesses, the better.
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Argument opposed

The debt limit is the best restraint there is to keep federal spending from getting even more out of control and leading to a debt crisis. Votes to raise the debt limit help the public hold lawmakers accountable for the debt they put taxpayers on the hook for.

Dave's Opinion
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08/18/2018
The debt ceiling, which is a limit on the amount of debt that the federal government can incur that’s set by Congress. To get rid of accountability, checks and balances is like not giving a limits on a your kids credit card. Just wait when China wants their money, you’ll know what debt ceiling and limits is all about.
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BeStrong's Opinion
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08/18/2018
No...the National Debt Limit is the very thing that forces this Congress to expose its additional funding requests in the form of a continuing resolution. If the debt limit were to be removed, the literal sky becomes the limit. This Republican administration and Republican Congress need to STOP their out of control spending. NO more Space Wars NO more ‘Dictator-esque’ Military Parades NO more charging taxpayers Million$ for weekly stays at luxury resorts NO more funding for the Brown Repelling Wall NO more ‘private prison’ incarceration of brown children NO more BS just because Congress is terrified losing their seats at the finger of a Trump Tweet. The same Trump, who can be baited with a tweet. #NoMore #GlassJawPOTUS
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operaman's Opinion
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08/18/2018
Yes, let's wipe out the National Debt. That debt is owed the taxpayers of this country. If you want to see panic, just zero it out and watch the price of gold reach the height of stars. Canceling our National Debt will label the US as a North American Venezuela.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Ways and Means
    IntroducedSeptember 7th, 2017

What is House Bill H.R. 3693?

This bill would repeal the debt ceiling, which is a limit on the amount of debt that the federal government can incur that’s set by Congress. The debt ceiling was last raised in February by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, which raised the debt limit through March 1, 2019.


Impact

The federal government.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 3693

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA) introduced this bill to eliminate the debt limit:

“The debt ceiling, and the constant crisis it creates through repeated threats of government shutdown, is unnecessary and problematic to say the least. It’s no wonder that only a handful of countries around the world currently follow this disruptive, arbitrary and restrictive fiscal practice.
When you receive your credit card statement at the end of the month, you can’t decide ‘I’ll pay this, but won’t pay that.’ Our current process of ‘governing by deadline’ and playing chicken with the debt ceiling is essentially doing just that — and risking the full faith and credit of the United States.”

John Carney wrote the following in defense of the debt limit at CNBC:

“While this system strikes many as archaic, there is good reason for it. In the first place, it maintains the system  of accountability for national debt set up by the Constitution. Lawmakers must go on record as approving an increase in the debt limit in order to enable the government to borrow to fund the spending the lawmakers have approved. They must confront, in a very public manner, the costs of the programs they have enacted.

One of the ways in which government is able to operate unaccountably — that is, outside of democratic checks and balances — is by facilitating public ignorance about its activities. The debt ceiling vote helps raise public awareness about the costs of government, keeping government accountable and increasing democratic participation.”

This legislation was introduced with no cosponsors.


Of NotePrior to 1917, Congress had to approve each issuance of U.S. debt — a power it rarely used. During World War I, Congress allowed the Treasury Secretary to borrow amounts up to a certain limit without requiring approval to issue debt. At that point, there were limits on specific types of debt, including war savings, Treasury notes, and certificates of indebtedness. Over the course of the Great Depression and World War II those distinct debt limits were merged into a single debt limit, which is how the debt limit currently operates.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: iStock.com / 400tmax)

Official Title

To repeal the debt ceiling.

    Yes. It’s a silly political obstruction used to distract the country and our politicians from accomplishing anything beyond constantly threatening each other needlessly over nonsense. It’s a fake problem politicians created themselves apparently so they can pretend to solve it and appear heroic. Just stop it people it serves absolutely no useful purpose.
    Like (23)
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    Share
    The debt ceiling, which is a limit on the amount of debt that the federal government can incur that’s set by Congress. To get rid of accountability, checks and balances is like not giving a limits on a your kids credit card. Just wait when China wants their money, you’ll know what debt ceiling and limits is all about.
    Like (103)
    Follow
    Share
    No...the National Debt Limit is the very thing that forces this Congress to expose its additional funding requests in the form of a continuing resolution. If the debt limit were to be removed, the literal sky becomes the limit. This Republican administration and Republican Congress need to STOP their out of control spending. NO more Space Wars NO more ‘Dictator-esque’ Military Parades NO more charging taxpayers Million$ for weekly stays at luxury resorts NO more funding for the Brown Repelling Wall NO more ‘private prison’ incarceration of brown children NO more BS just because Congress is terrified losing their seats at the finger of a Trump Tweet. The same Trump, who can be baited with a tweet. #NoMore #GlassJawPOTUS
    Like (47)
    Follow
    Share
    Yes, let's wipe out the National Debt. That debt is owed the taxpayers of this country. If you want to see panic, just zero it out and watch the price of gold reach the height of stars. Canceling our National Debt will label the US as a North American Venezuela.
    Like (23)
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    Imagine the fiscal irresponsibility it takes to even propose this. "Should we remove even the pretense of restraint, and allow ourselves to live not only at our grandchildren's expense but even at the expense of THEIR grandchildren by obligating them to pay in the future for our big living now?" No. It's bad enough that government is basically funded by extorting its citizens, but man up and bear the extortion yourself rather than pushing it off on future generations who, by definition, aren't here to stand up for themselves.
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    In the first place, the debt ceiling maintains a system of accountability for national debt set up by the Constitution. Lawmakers must go on record as approving an increase in the debt limit in order to enable the government to borrow to fund the spending the lawmakers have approved. They must confront, in a very public manner, the costs of the programs they have enacted. One of the ways in which government is able to operate unaccountably — that is, outside of democratic checks and balances — is by facilitating public ignorance about its activities. The debt ceiling vote helps raise public awareness about the costs of government, keeping government accountable and increasing democratic participation.
    Like (19)
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    The debt limit is arbitrary and I'm tired of hearing Congress argue about it and use it as a political tool to cut social programs instead of addressing our bloated military budget or Congress' own inability to compromise and get things done.
    Like (19)
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    While the debt ceiling is frequently raised, I cannot see handing this or any future Congress access to unrestricted spending. Remember it allows the armed forces to buy $1,000 toilet seats and Congressmen to pay hush money to women they have sexually harassed and abused with our hard to EARN TAX DOLLARS! At least with a ceiling we make them squirm!!!!
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    There should be a tax switch limit! It seems there’s no limit to what the poor and middle classes can be taxed because the Republicans then just give that money “back” in terms of tax cuts on the wealthy! They are the Bait and Switch party. Money should not be taken from us if it is only used to enrich the rich. They have always been the Spend and Tax party... they don’t know any limits on themselves bc they know they’ll just take it from those poorer. The national debt or any limits on it is a joke. If we had real reps who had our good in mind the debt wouldn’t be so high. But they just seek to enrich themselves.
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    It’s essentially just a hostage tool. It has no real use other than as a “government by crises” flashpoint. Deficit spending doesn’t really matter to the economy. It’s a illusion in a lot of ways. Reagan proved that it doesn’t matter. As soon as people figure out that government budgets don’t work like households or even businesses, the better.
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    We are $21 trillion in debt. We should not be discussing getting rid of the debt ceiling. We should be focusing on getting rid of the debt!
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    Another Forrest Gump Bill “stupid is as stupid does”! Debt ceiling should be reduced not increased. The incompetent people the voters keep electing need to stop spending. I would start by paying them only for the days they are actually working. No sick pay or vacation pay or personal time only pay by the hour for work. And no benefits either.
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    Quit spending money that we don't have! Enough is enough!
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    No way , if you have credit you’ll spend to the limit. If you have NO limit you’ll spend limitlessly.
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    What’s the Matter, Republicans???? You are the Conservative party, YOU are supposed to be controlling the money?? Don’t you have control of Trump, who is spending the country out of money because you all are letting him & gave the rich a tax break so large that we will be broke within a year, just like Kansas almost did. FIX THIS BUSINESS NOW!!! Take back the tax break for the rich, put the brakes on Trump, fix healthcare, get to work on infrastructure and quit messing around. 8 years and 2 years of s Dictatorship and you still HAVEN’T DONE ANYTHING!!!! Except put us more in debt.
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    Of course a democrat would want to eliminate a debt line that should not be crossed. When you want the government to pay for everyone’s healthcare, education, housing, food, as well as provide a universal wage and take care of all the illegal aliens flooding the country, the government debt will have to become a state secret!
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    We have a limit? Did anybody tell Trump that? Stop the trickle down crap - it doesn't work. We need fair and equitable tax system, not a get richer scheme. Our leaders aren't looking out for the people, no longer representing us. They only have love for money, our money. What a laughable waste of time.
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    🤔 PRESIDENT OBAMA’s EXECUTIVE CLEMENCY & DEBT CEILING 🤔 FYI: The list of people who were granted executive clemency by Barack Obama. By the end of his presidency on January 20, 2017, Barack Obama had exercised his constitutional power to grant executive clemency—that is, "pardon, commutation of sentence, remission of fine or restitution, and reprieve"—to 1,927 individuals convicted of federal crimes. Of the acts of clemency, 1,715 were commutations (including 504 life sentences) and 212 were pardons. Most individuals granted executive clemency by Obama had been convicted on drug charges,and had received lengthy and sometimes mandatory sentences at the height of the War on Drugs. President Obama holds the record for the largest single-day use of the clemency power, granting 330 commutations on January 19, 2017, his last full day in office. He also has issued more commutations than the past thirteen presidents combined. Under Obama the debt ceiling increased: by $789 billion to $12.104 trillion in February 2009, Obama's first year in office, under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act; by $290 billion to $12.394 trillion ten months later, in December 2009; and by $1.9 trillion to $14.294 trillion two months later, in February 2010. 8*18*18..... SneakyPete SEE: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_granted_executive_clemency_by_Barack_Obama SEE: https://www.thoughtco.com/presidents-who-raised-the-debt-ceiling-3321770
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    We need at least a token reminder that we are selling our children into slavery....
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    “Govern by crisis..”, is the consequence of setting artificial debt limit, we never observe anyway. Congress needs to do their work for which they were elected in first place. Then, with that forethought, produce action to keep our financial status solvent with appropriate flexibility to meet our nation’s needs.
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