The new month started off with an old argument; What to do about the debt ceiling? Earlier today, Obama met with the GOP in order to discuss a possible solution to the debt ceiling, but his efforts were not supported by the vast majority. Obama proposed a stand-alone hike, meaning there would be an increase to the debt ceiling without any additional cuts to even out the debt. The hike in the limit would have been a $2.4 trillion increase, but the house voted 97-318 reject the proposal.
Overall, the entire meeting was not seen as a serious attempt at controlling the nations debt and taking strides to make a change. The morning vote was more of a way to prepare later meetings where Obama will meet with the House Republican Conference in order to discuss the issues of the debt ceiling. According to the U.S Treasury, the nation needs at least a $2 trillion increase to last through 2012.
Currently the debt ceiling is at $14.3 trillion and a decision would have to be reached August 2 to be able to continue paying bills.
The Great Debate
Basically, it comes down to the repercussions of the debt increase. Both parties agree that an increase is needed, but the problem is how it should be funded.
Republicans believe that the increase should, and must, have spending costs included in the proposal in order to make sure the country is doing it’s best to make sure another debt hike is not needed. While Democrats are arguing that a debt-limit increase can be made without also enforcing spending reforms or cuts. The Democrats believe that budget changes should be discussed separately between Congress and the White House as opposed to enforced along with the spending increase.
Today’s vote was used as a way to buy more time for the politicians to come up with ways to meet a compromise. This tactic did not sit well with many politicians, including House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., described the whole situation as a “political charade”.