Today, Congressional members held a press conference to introduce the Ensuring the Full Faith and Credit of the United States and Protecting America’s Soldiers and Seniors Act. The bill would ensure that the Treasury would pay the United States’ debts, Social Security obligations and active military first if the debt ceiling is not raised by Aug. 2.
“Although the president’s speech last night didn’t give me a great deal of cause for confidence, I nevertheless still hope that the president will drop his insistence on a huge tax increase, drop his opposition to pursuing a balanced budget so that we can reach an agreement on raising the debt limit prior to Aug. 2,” said Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), who is sponsoring the legislation with 31 other Senators. “But at this late stage in the process, it’s obvious now to everybody that it is possible — increasingly possible — that we will not have raised the debt ceiling by Aug. 2.”
The Senator said that, despite the White House and Treasury’s assertions that the Administration could not or would not prioritize payments to avoid default, enough revenue exists to make such prioritizations possible — which could provide a way around the doomsday scenarios presented by a default.
“Frankly, it’s irresponsible and it’s dangerous. The administration should not be threatening to make the debt ceiling impasse more disruptive than it needs to be,” Toomey said. “What our bill would do is it would instruct the Treasury secretary in the event the debt ceiling is not raised prior to Aug. 2 to make certain obligations priority so that they will be paid in full, on time, and without delay.”
Toomey concluded by saying that passage of this bill is not “a substitute for raising the debt limit,” and “I continue to hope that this legislation never needs to be implemented, but it would be very, very irresponsible to be unprepared, or worse, to be unwilling to minimize the potential for disruption.”