Durbin, Boyle Introduce Bicameral Legislation To End Cycle Of Republican Default Brinkmanship

WASHINGTON – After Republicans manufactured another near catastrophic default crisis, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and House Budget Committee Ranking Member Brendan F. Boyle (D-PA-02) introduced the Debt Ceiling Reform Act, legislation to permanently end the weaponization of the debt ceiling while protecting Congress’s oversight responsibilities. 

The Debt Ceiling Reform Act authorizes the Treasury Department to continue paying the nation’s bills absent a disapproval resolution from Congress.  The effect of this legislation would be similar to the mechanism that Senator Mitch McConnell proposed to resolve the 2011 impasse.  Congress would retain its oversight powers and has the option to halt payments if, within 30 days, both chambers pass a veto-proof resolution of disapproval.  

“After a near catastrophic default thanks to political games by our Republican colleagues, it’s time to put the debt ceiling in the hands of the Treasury Secretary,” Durbin said.  “For the sake of the American people and for the good of our economy, we need legislation to reform the way we address the debt ceiling.  TheDebt Ceiling Reform Act is responsible, commonsense legislation that will give the Treasury the authority to raise the debt ceiling.  If Republicans are truly concerned about the economic well-being of America, they will work with us on this sensible solution.”  

“A definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result.  If we do not significantly change the debt ceiling process, Republicans will keep taking our economy hostage and provoking default,” said Boyle.  “The Debt Ceiling Reform Act will end Republicans’ perennial weaponization of the debt ceiling once and for all by making it harder for extremists to take the debt ceiling hostage.  This legislation is a sensible response to Republicans’ repeated hostage-taking, manufactured default crises, and toxic brinkmanship.  I am proud to join Senator Durbin in introducing this much needed legislation to permanently take default off the table and provide the economic stability the American people deserve from their government.”  

The current debt ceiling process is broken and unsustainable.  The Debt Ceiling Reform Act will not only put a stop to Republican manufactured default crises, but it will also restore the debt ceiling mechanism back to the original congressional intention, which was to make it easier for the Treasury Department to pay the nation's bills.