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Issue Spotlight: The Debt Ceiling

Issue Spotlight: The Debt Ceiling

Updated 1/24/13

On Jan. 23, 2013, the House passed the No Budget, No Pay Act (HR 325) to extend the federal debt limit for three months -- on the condition that the Senate commits to passing a federal budget by the April 15 deadline. As House Majority Leader Eric Cantor explained:

  • Cantor"We must pay our bills and responsibly budget for our future. Next week, we will authorize a three month temporary debt limit increase to give the Senate and House time to pass a budget. Furthermore, if the Senate or House fails to pass a budget in that time, Members of Congress will not be paid by the American people for failing to do their job. No budget, no pay." (Read Majority Leader Cantor's full statement.)

In anticipation of the debate in Congress about the debt ceiling and federal budget, POPVOX would like to spotlight related legislation. Weigh in and share your views. POPVOX will deliver your message to your Representative or Senators, guaranteed. (Learn more about how POPVOX works.)

Federal Debt Ceiling Legislation

  • HR 355 : To increase the statutory limit on the public debt only upon the certification by the President of the submission to the States for their ratification of the proposed amendment to the Constitution to balance the Federal Budget or limit Federal spending. -- Just Introduced! --
  • HR 342 : To prioritize certain Government obligations for continued payment in the event that the statutory debt limit is reached, to appropriate funds for the pay and allowances of all members of the Armed Forces, and for those civilian employees of the Department of Defense and the Coast Guard serving in a combat zone. -- Just Introduced! --
  • HR 326 : To amend the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 to establish a point of order to prohibit the extension of the public debt limit unless a concurrent resolution on the budget has been agreed to and is in effect. -- Just Introduced! --
  • S 92 : A bill to require that the Government give priority to payment of all obligations on the debt held by the public and payment of Social Security benefits in the event that the debt limit is reached. -- Just Introduced! --
  • S 81 : A bill to provide guidance and priorities for Federal Government obligations in the event that the debt limit is reached. -- Just Introduced! --
  • S 57 : A bill to establish a timely and expeditious process for voting on the statutory debt limit. -- Just Introduced! --
  • S 46 : A bill to protect Social Security benefits and military pay and require that the US Government prioritize all obligations on the debt held by the public in the event that the debt limit is reached. -- Just Introduced! --
  • HR 325 The No Budget, No Pay Act: To ensure the complete and timely payment of the obligations of the US Government until May 19, 2013.
  • HR 319 To provide for an expedited process for increasing the statutory limit on the public debt.
  • HR 55 SHIELD Act: To prioritize the payment of pay and allowances to members of the Armed Forces and Federal law enforcement officers in the event the debt ceiling is reached or there is a funding gap.
  • HR 233 To provide for an orderly process by which the debt ceiling is increased.
  • HR 149 Prioritize Spending Act: To specify the priority of the obligations of the US Government if the debt ceiling is reached.
  • HR 103 Ending Fiscal Cliffs Act: To provide authority to increase the debt limit when an Act of Congress provides budget authority or reduces revenues.
  • HR 247 Ensuring the Full Faith and Credit of the United States and Protecting America's Soldiers and Seniors Act: To require that the US Government prioritize all obligations on the debt held by the public, Social Security benefits, and military pay in the event that the debt limit is reached.
  • HR 290 Full Faith and Credit Act: To eliminate the statutory cap on the public debt and to place limitations on the purposes for which public debt may be issued.
  • HJR 12 Amending the Rules of the House of Representatives to require that any extension of the public debt limit only be considered in a standalone bill.

Balanced Budget Amendment Proposals

  • HJRes 18 Proposing an amendment to the Constitution to provide for a balanced budget for the US Government and for greater accountability in the enactment of tax legislation. -- Just Introduced! --
  • HR 371 : To increase the statutory limit on the public debt by $1,000,000,000 upon the adoption by Congress of a Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment and by an additional $1,000,000,000 upon ratification by the States of that Amendment. -- Just Introduced! --
  • HJR 1 Proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution to (1) require that total spending for any fiscal year not exceed total receipts; (2) require that bills to raise revenues pass each House of Congress by a 3/5 majority; (3) establish an annual spending cap such that total federal spending could not exceed 1/5 of the economic output of the US; and (4) require a 3/5 majority vote for any increases in the debt limit.
  • HJR 2 Proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution to require that Congress not spend more than it receives in revenues; require the President to submit a balanced budget to Congress, and require a 3/5 majority vote to increase the debt limit (except in times of national emergencies).
  • HJR 4 Proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution to require the President to submit, and Congress to pass, an annual budget that is balanced.
  • HJR 5 Proposing an amendment to the Constitution relative to balancing the budget and requires Congress to pass a balanced budget and requires any new bill that imposes a new tax or increases the statutory rate of any tax or the aggregate amount of revenue pass by a two-thirds majority.
  • HJR 6 Proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution and requires Congress to pass a balanced budget and requires any new bill that imposes a new tax or increases the statutory rate of any tax or the aggregate amount of revenue pass by a majority (except in times of national emergencies).
  • HJR 9 Proposing an amendment to the Constitution prohibiting the US government from increasing its debt except for a specific purpose by law adopted by three-fourths of the membership of each House of Congress.
  • HJR 10 Proposing an amendment to the Constitution requiring that the Federal budget be balanced and that an increase in the Federal debt requires approval from a majority of the legislatures of the several States.
  • HJR 11 Proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.
  • HJR 17 Proposing an amendment to the Constitution which requires (except during time of war and subject to suspension by Congress) that the total amount of money expended by the US during any fiscal year not exceed the amount of certain revenue received by the US during such fiscal year and not exceed 20 percent of the gross domestic product of the US during the previous calendar year.
  • HJR 18 Proposing an amendment to the Constitution to provide for a balanced budget for the US Government and for greater accountability in the enactment of tax legislation.

Congressional Consequences

  • S 55 : A bill to prohibit Members of Congress and the President from receiving pay during Government shutdowns. -- Just Introduced! --
  • HCRes 9 Prohibiting the House or Senate from adjourning for a period of more than 5 days during a fiscal year unless the House involved has adopted a concurrent resolution on the budget for such fiscal year and has approved legislation to provide funding for the operations of the government for the entire fiscal year. -- Just Introduced! --
  • HR 143 Lead By Example Act: To provide that matching contributions to the Thrift Savings Fund for Members of Congress be made contingent on Congress completing action on a concurrent resolution on the budget, for the fiscal year involved, which reduces the deficit.
  • HR 108Member Pay Freeze Act: To provide that rates of pay for Members of Congress shall not be adjusted under section 601(a)(2) of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 in the year following any fiscal year in which outlays of the United States exceed receipts of the United States.
  • HR 310 To provide that Members of Congress may not receive pay after October 1 of any fiscal year in which Congress has not approved a concurrent resolution on the budget and passed the regular appropriations bills.

Budget Reforms

Please keep in mind that highlighting a bill doesn't imply a POPVOX endorsement in any way. Rather, we're simply trying to offer one more way to stay informed of an overwhelmingly complex legislative system.

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