House Bill Would Prioritize Debt Reconciliation

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Last week, the Republican-controlled House approved a bill that would require the Federal government to make efforts to pay back foreign-held debts before committing to additional domestic expenditures.

The Full Faith and Credit Act, HR 807, would put into place a mandatory plan to require the government to tackle debts by having the U.S. Treasury pay down all interest payments on the national debt in the event of another debt ceiling showdown in Congress. That would eliminate a Democratic bargaining chip for more debt by severing the link between debt ceiling and the risk of default.

Under the proposal, the Social Security Administration could access its own trust fund to pay Social Security benefits and disability payments, and the Treasury would issue debt specifically for that purpose.

Opponents of the bill gave it the moniker “Pay China First Act” because the government would have to settle up its debt with foreign bondholders before proceeding with more domestic expenditures.

Chinese walk past the Bank of China's headquarters in Beijing
China owns a little more than 7 percent of U.S. public debt. Credit: UPI

“Those who have loaned us money, like in any other proceeding, if you will, court proceeding, the bondholders usually get paid first. Same thing here,” House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told Bloomberg TV early last week.

Boehner said later in the interview, “I think doing a debt prioritization bill makes it clear to our bondholders that we’re going to meet our obligations.”

House Democrats largely rejected the proposal, and it is expected to be killed in the Democrat-controlled Senate. Even if it does make it out of the upper legislative chamber, President Barack Obama will likely veto the bill because it hamstrings Federal spending in a number of areas the White House deems obligatory.

“American families do not get to choose which bills to pay and which ones not to pay, and the United States Congress cannot either without putting the Nation into default for the first time in its history,” the White House said in a statement. “This bill would threaten the full faith and credit of the United States, cost American jobs, hurt businesses of all sizes, and do damage to the economy.”

Sam Rolley

Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After covering community news and politics, Rolley took a position at Personal Liberty Media Group where could better hone his focus on his true passions: national politics and liberty issues. In his daily columns and reports, Rolley works to help readers understand which lies are perpetuated by the mainstream media and to stay on top of issues ignored by more conventional media outlets.

  • independent thinker

    “American families do not get to choose which bills to pay and which ones not to pay…”
    Tell that to the thousands who have to decide if they pay the electric this month or if they pay the gas bill. Tell that to the thousands who have to decide if they eat or get their medicine this month.

  • vippy

    How dare these idiots in Washington who are the sole blame for this disaster with the deficit they created and now don’t want to take responsibility for their careless actions.

  • GRusling

    Notice to Washington DC! If you can’t pay your bills, DON’T MAKE THE DEBT!

    Let’s cut up Washington’s Credit Card and throw it away…

  • Walt

    I like Maynard’s idea above. However, why limit it to just an auction for Puerto Rico, let’s include Hawaii in the bidding. Maybe China would win the bid and then ex-President Obama could enjoy living in a true “communist paradise” with his ideological “kindred spirits”, in his newly built retirement home after 2016 or sooner. I’m sure Michelle would enjoy learning Mandarin or Cantonese cooking.