Treasury Secretary Emphasizes the Need to Raise the Debt Limit

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew Kevin Wolf/AP

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has a brief op-ed in Friday's USA Today arguing the need for Congress to raise the debt ceiling without reservation before the Oct. 17 deadline. The fallout of the United States not being able to pay its debts will likely be far-reaching although Lew's op-ed speaks in terms more broad than specific.

Lew's plea to Congress is meant to also clear up a number of persistent misnomers about the debt ceiling, which some incorrectly assume allows the government to freely increase spending:

We cannot put our nation in the position of not paying its bills because Congress has refused to raise the country's debt limit. It is important to note that increasing the debt limit does not give the government the ability to spend more money.

An increase in the debt limit simply allows us to pay our bills. Without a debt limit increase, our government will -- in a matter of days -- not have the resources it needs to make good on its commitments.

Only Congress has the power to lift the debt limit. That means only Congress can clear the way for our government to meet all of its financial obligations.

Lew also addresses the House of Representatives's current strategy of passing piecemeal continuing resolutions and forcing the Senate to vote down any a la carte funding measures, stating that the Obama administration's hard line of all or nothing is the only way to avoid morally ambiguous prioritization.

Some claim that the United States does not need to meet every one of its commitments. They argue that the government could pay certain bills and let others go unpaid without consequences.

The United States cannot be put in a position of having to choose which commitments it should meet. How could we possibly decide among supporting our veterans, maintaining food assistance for children in need, or sending Medicare payments to hospitals?

Read more on The Atlantic Wire

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    View
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    View
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    View
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    View
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    View
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    View
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    View

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.