Representative Erik Paulsen (MN-03) released the following statement following today's Ways and Means Committee hearing, which examined the role and purpose of the debt limit, past practices regarding increases in the debt limit, and also discussed solutions to ensure Washington responsibly addresses the federal government's finances. As of December 2012, the public debt stands at the statutory limit of $16.4 trillion, and the U.S. Treasury Department is currently operating under "extraordinary measures" that give it additional, but limited, means to manage funds. The Treasury Department has stated that it expects the government's ability to meet its current obligations to run out between mid-February and early March of this year.
"There is now broad bipartisan consensus that our country is on a fiscally unsustainable path. We've even heard from Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral Mike Mullen, who expressed his belief that the single biggest threat to national security is our ballooning national debt. It's time Washington recognizes the enormous threat our national debt is to our economic prosperity as a nation. Cutting spending and reforming our outdated tax code are key components to controlling our skyrocketing national debt and growing our economy."