On Wednesday, Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew said that America would once again hit the debt ceiling by late February, despite Congress’ temporary debt limit increase back in October 2013. That agreement suspended the debt ceiling and funded the federal government, as well as creating a committee with an eye toward a deficit reduction plan. The deal did contemplate that the debt ceiling would run out by February 7.
Lew wrote, “I respectfully urge Congress to provide certainty and stability to the economy and financial markets by acting to raise the debt limit before February 7, 2014, and certainly before late February.”
Republicans in Congress have vowed to extract spending concessions from President Obama in exchange for raising the debt ceiling again. Michael Steel, spokesman for Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), stated, “The Speaker has said that we should not default on our debt, or even get close to it, but a ‘clean’ debt limit increase simply won’t pass in the House. We hope and expect the White House will work with us on a timely, fiscally-responsible solution.”
Even as President Obama plans more high-budget spending programs, the stage is set for yet another showdown over government profligacy.