Maybe it was the lobster tails — or the sparkling wine. But for a few brief moments on Monday, President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans actually seemed to enjoy each other’s company over an elaborate three-course lunch in the Capitol’s opulent National Statuary Hall.
Reiterating a threat he first issued in the summer of 2011, President Barack Obama on Monday warned Republicans that older Americans might not get their Social Security checks and veterans won’t get timely benefits if Congress fails to increase the government’s borrowing authority.
In the summer of 2011, when a debt crisis like the current one loomed, President Barack Obama warned Republicans that older Americans might not get their Social Security checks unless there was a deal to raise the nation’s borrowing limit.
President Barack Obama warned Congress on Monday that it must raise the debt ceiling or risk a “self-inflicted wound on the economy.” Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner also delivered ominous calls for action.
“The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law … shall not be questioned,” reads the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The upcoming fight to raise the national debt ceiling has again pushed the clause into the spotlight. Here is some important recent history on the issue:
Want to make sure your calendar is clear when we hit the debt ceiling? Then don’t schedule anything between Feb. 15 and March 1.
Every election year, they become the popular ones, the celebrities with the power to hire or fire politicians. Then, when actual governing begins, they become the forgotten ones – jilted wallflowers watching as the leaders they elected are devoured into a political system dominated by extremes.
The fiscal bill passed by Congress solves an immediate dilemma, averting income-tax increases for most Americans while taxing top-earners more, yet leaves unanswered a longer-term question of taming the federal debt.