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Foster, Boyle, Merkley Lead Bicameral Call to Congressional Leadership Urging Permanent Solution to Debt Ceiling Crisis

Oct 25, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL), Congressman Brendan Boyle (D-PA), and Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) sent a letter to Congressional Democratic leadership calling for legislative action to permanently solve the debt ceiling crisis, using only Democratic votes if necessary. The letter is signed by 79 Members of Congress.

The Members wrote:

“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.”

“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.”

Legislative options proposed by the Members include:

  • 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 H.R. 1041.
  • 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) Act.
  • 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.

A full copy of the letter is available here.


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