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:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

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