Congressman Charles B. Rangel urged the House Republicans to pass a long-term solution to the debt ceiling after the House passage of H.R. 325, the Temporary Debt Limit Suspension, a bill that raises the debt ceiling for three months and suspend the payment of salaries to Members in either chamber that does not adopt a FY 2014 budget resolution by April 15. The bill passed by a vote of 285 to 144 on January 23, 2013.
"We need real solutions to solve our countries financial problems," Rangel said. "This legislation is nothing more than another gimmick that just kicks the can down the road for another couple of months."
This legislation has two major provisions. The first provision raises the debt ceiling for three months so that the United States would not default on its debt until May 19, 2013. In May, Congress would need to pass legislation to raise the debt ceiling again. The second provision holds the pay for Members of Congress unless a budget resolution is passed. If a budget is not passed by April 15, 2013, Members of Congress would have their pay put into escrow until the resolutions are passed.
The budget battles are expected to continue over the next several months as there are several issues that need to be resolved. Congress will need to raise the debt ceiling again on May 19, avoid the $85 billion in sequestration cuts which take effect on March 1, and find a way to keep the federal government funded after the Continuing Resolution expires on March 27, 2013.
"We cannot continue to govern crisis-by-crisis," Rangel continued. "Since 2010, Congress's inability to solve the major problems facing our country in a responsible way has led to the first U.S. credit downgrade in history, the lowest level of private sector job growth in the past three years, and great economic uncertainty. We need to work together to find a balanced, bipartisan approach to these problems that protects Medicare and Social Security, invests in the future, and responsibly reduces the deficit."