Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA) today introduced H.R. 6643 the Ending Fiscal Cliffs Act of 2012. The legislation streamlines the process of raising the debt ceiling to avoid paralyzing political maneuvers.
Under the current system, Congress authorizes Federal spending, and then must grant redundant approval to borrow sufficient funds to cover the spending it has already approved. H.R. 6643 restructures the process to make it more efficient. It allows the Administration to raise the debt ceiling, as necessary, in order to avoid default whenever Congress spends money or reduces revenues.
Fattah said, "When Congress orders from the menu of spending, they shouldn't then expect a second debate over whether or not to pay the bill. Whether you pay cash or put it on a credit card, you ordered the food and you're the one who agreed to pay."
"Stability and predictability in the full faith and credit of the United States are critical to the nation's economic security. The question of whether the United States will meet its debt obligations has long been decided in the affirmative and should not need further negotiation. This bill puts in place a solid remedy to ensure America meets its obligations."
The Philadelphia Congressman added, "This bill clarifies what's at stake in the current budget-spending-revenue debate that has been labeled "the fiscal cliff.' How much money the federal government should raise and spend is an important, fundamental debate for Congress. But the current impasse inevitably arises from the short-term, short-sighted resolution to a previous "fiscal cliff,' which traces directly to the 2011 debt ceiling crisis."
The Fattah bill directs the Secretary of the Treasury to determine whether Congressional expenditures require borrowing in excess of the existing debt limit, the Secretary may raise the ceiling without further approval from Congress.
Fattah introduced the "Ending Fiscal Cliffs Act of 2012" during the brief, pro-forma session of the House on Friday.