As the national debt continues to climb to record highs, select members of Congress are discussing the idea of putting together a bi-partisan commission to help tackle the nation’s swelling deficit.
Since 2002, the national debt has doubled and is now rising at a rate of $3.8 billion per day. In the last eight years, members of Congress have voted seven times to increase the statutory debt limit to allow more borrowing, McClatchy Newspapers reports.
With the proposed healthcare bill and a possible escalation of U.S. efforts in Afghanistan on the table, at least a dozen senators are threatening to vote against any increase in the debt limit unless Congress passes a deficit-fighting plan.
"I will not vote for raising the debt limit without a vehicle to handle this. … This is our moment," said California Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, quoted by the news source.
Feinstein and a group of other senators wrote a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid asking Congress to create a commission that would make recommendations on budget cuts.
Some critics believe that creating a permanent deficit commission would take too much power away from Congress.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi argued that the biggest complaint that Americans have is not that the deficit is too large, but that they are not seeing any benefits associated with the increased debt, Fox News reports.