As Congress looks at ways to resolve the ongoing government shutdown, all of which involve raising the amount of money the Federal government is able to borrow, it’s becoming increasingly clear that a majority of average Americans feel that debt increases without government cuts would be bad for the Nation’s economy.
According to a poll out from FOX News on Tuesday, most Americans asked to imagine being lawmakers who would have to vote on a debt ceiling increase said that they would vote “nay” on a measure to raise the government’s borrowing limit. Thirty-seven percent said they would raise the debt ceiling before the Oct. 17 deadline set by Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, and 58 percent said they would not.
Not surprisingly, those describing themselves as members of the Tea Party were the most likely to be against a debt ceiling increase (88 percent), followed by Republicans (78 percent) and independents (57 percent).
Fifty-seven percent of Democrats said that they would vote in favor of a debt ceiling increase if in Congress, and 38 percent would vote against a measure to do so.
Overall, 62 percent of people polled said they would be in favor of increasing the debt ceiling only after officials agree to make “major cuts in government spending.”
House Republicans presented a deal Thursday to President Barack Obama that would provide a six-week extension of the Nation’s debt limit, but would not end the government shutdown.
“It is our hope that the president will look at this as an opportunity and a good-faith effort on our part to move halfway, halfway to what he’s demanded in order to have these conversations begin,” House Speaker John Boehner said.
Boehner also said that the President’s response to the Republican deal would determine how long the government shutdown continues.
The bill offered by the GOP would also disallow the Treasury Department to use “extraordinary measures” to increase borrowing after Nov. 22, if a new, more permanent solution has not yet been reached.
“The date in the bill is the real date — no more monkeying around,” one GOP aide told reporters.
Meanwhile, the White House has continued to push a message urging Republican lawmakers to back down and lift the $16.7 trillion debt limit and reopen the government before it will take part in any budget negotiations.
Also this week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has touted an effort led by Congressional Democrats to increase the Federal debt limit by an additional $1.1 trillion, while pushing the expiration of the new debt limit to December 2014, after midterm elections.
Republicans have criticized the effort as a non-solution to the Nation’s continuing economic problems.
“The majority leader introduced legislation this week to allow another trillion dollars to be added to the debt with no strings attached. None,” Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said of Reid’s plan. “That’s the majority leader’s plan: just keep raising the credit card limit, and let someone else deal with it later on.”