Dear Speaker Pelosi, Leader Schumer, Leader Hoyer, Whip Durbin, Whip Clyburn, and
We write to request that House and Senate Democrats act to permanently end the threat
that the federal debt ceiling poses to our economy and our standing in the world. We suggest
several potential measures to accomplish this goal.
The debt limit is set to reinstate early December. Without further Congressional action, the
United States will soon-after enter into default and, for the first time in our nation's history, the
full faith and credit of our country will be jeopardized. Aside from the detriment to our country's
global reputation, a U.S. default will be catastrophic to the United States' capital markets and
We urge leadership to act swiftly to avoid default and protect the economy and financial
well being of all Americans. Since Senate Republicans were only willing to agree to a short-term
extension of the debt limit, we urge that you use the remaining few months to lay the legislative
groundwork to permanently repeal the threat posed by the debt ceiling, using only Democratic
votes if necessary.
Amidst the existential threat of a U.S. default is the irony that the federal debt limit no
longer serves any purpose towards fiscal austerity. The time to address government spending is
during the budgetary process -- when Congress decides whether to run a surplus or deficit each
year. The debt limit only serves to constrain the Treasury from paying our country's debts after
they have already been incurred. Unfortunately, over the past decade we have seen this vestige of
fiscal policy repeatedly weaponized by the Republican party -- effectively holding the American
economy hostage for one party's gain. Despite Democrats having worked thrice with Republicans
during the Trump Administration to prevent a default, Minority Leader McConnell repeatedly
refuses to do the same -- insisting that the Democrats in Congress must solve this issue alone. The
time has come to end this dangerous practice once and for all.
The toxic brinkmanship surrounding the debt limit occurs each time we either approach the
dollar amount of the debt limit, or an enacted suspension of the debt limit is set to soon expire. At
these junctures, our solutions to handle the debt limit are to either raise the limit or again enact a
further suspension. Since Republicans in Congress have indicated they're unwilling to help avoid
a default in December, we should seek a more permanent solution to avoid having to repeat this
painful process in the future. There are several options on this front:
* Permanently repeal the federal debt limit, such as in Congressman Foster's and Sen.
Schatz's H.R. 3305/S.1785 End The Threat of Default Act or Congressman Boyle's
* Authorize the Secretary of the Treasury to raise the debt limit unilaterally, such as
in Congressman Boyle's H.R. 5415 Debt Ceiling Reform Act.
* Authorize the President to increase the debt limit subject to Congressional
disapproval, such as in Sen. Merkley's and Sen. Kaine's S. 2819, Protect Our
Citizens from Reckless Extortion of our Debt and Irresponsible Tactics (CREDIT)
* Automatically peg the debt limit to the actual U.S. debt incurred, plus a buffer to
allow the issuance of new debt.
* Raise or suspend the debt limit to an amount or date sufficient to guarantee that the
United States will not reach it in the foreseeable future.
Any of the aforementioned options would end the toxic cycle of brinkmanship surrounding
the debt limit. Solving this problem once and for all will provide greater stability to our economy
and will protect hard working American families. We urge you to adopt a permanent solution to
this debt crisis to avoid having to repeat this same dangerous process in the future. The time is
now to address this issue and preserve the world's trust in the full faith and credit of the United