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Huelskamp: Must Absolutely Keep the Debt Ceiling As a Check on Big Spenders


Location: Washington, DC

In a televised interview from last Friday, outgoing Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said we should "absolutely" get rid of the debt ceiling. Geithner went on to say: "Only once, last summer, did people decide to use it to threaten default on the American credit for the first time in history as a tool for political advantage."

Congressman Tim Huelskamp, a member of the House Budget Committee, has run monthly projections of when the U.S. will broach the debt limit next. His latest projection is January 5, 2013. Read more here.

Congressman Tim Huelskamp, a member of the House Budget Committee, released the following statement about Sec. Geithner's desire to see the debt limit disappear:

"America currently owes more than $16.2 trillion -- that's more than $50,000 for every man, woman and child in America. The debt will be up by nearly $6 trillion in the last four years alone when Washington hits the current debt ceiling in the next six to eight weeks. And, at our current rate of spending, the debt will increase at least another $4 trillion before President Obama leaves office. Of course this is of contrary to what then-Senator Barack Obama said when he voted against raising the debt ceiling in 2006, calling any increase 'unpatriotic.'"

"The bottom line is that we should absolutely not get rid of the debt ceiling. It goes without saying that the American people want Congress to make it harder, not easier to incur more debt. If we eliminate this check on spending, we will continue to pick up speed toward not just a fiscal cliff, but the fiscal abyss of a debt crisis in the world's leading economy."

"Contrary to Sec. Geithner's claim, on multiple occasions over the past 30 years, the Treasury has resorted to what are known as "extraordinary measures" to continue to borrow money and finance the government after the debt ceiling was reached. Congress has battled repeatedly with the White House over the debt ceiling -- though for a number of years, that fight was largely confined to the Senate. Big-spending Democrats in the House instituted what was known as the "Gephardt Rule" which provided that the debt ceiling would be raised automatically when the House passed its budget resolution. House Republicans rightly eliminated that rule in 1995 in order to enforce more spending discipline."

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