(The Center Square) – While Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, agreed to a short-term deal to extend the country’s debt ceiling, another Kentucky lawmaker is sponsoring a measure that would take the issue entirely out of the hands of Congress.
Last week, House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth, D-Kentucky, joined with Committee Vice-Chair Brendan Doyle, D-Pennsylvania, to file HR 5415, which would give the secretary of the treasury power to manage the government’s borrowing capacity.
Yarmuth, a Louisville Democrat, said the “Debt Ceiling Reform Act” is based on negotiations McConnell had with the Obama Administration a decade ago, which he said gave the administration the power to raise the limit by $1.2 trillion.
“It’s time for Republicans to pull the ripcord and support our legislation to implement the McConnell Rule, giving the Treasury Secretary the authority to raise the debt ceiling,” Yarmuth said in a statement last week. “We need to get past this politically manufactured crisis and get on with the business of addressing the needs and priorities of the American people.”
However, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center, while the “McConnell Rule” would give the administration control over raising the ceiling, it also would allow Congress to reject the increase if both parties agreed. Congress would not need to act if it concurred with raising the limit.
In 2011, Republicans held both the House and the Senate. This year, Democrats control the White House and Capitol Hill.
The Senate voted on a $480 billion increase on Thursday evening.
“We have reached agreement to extend the debt ceiling through early December,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, said on the Senate floor Thursday.
It marks the third consecutive term Boyle has offered the debt ceiling legislation.
The Philadelphia Democrat said the policy of letting Congress control the debt ceiling dates back more than 100 years and that it’s no longer an effective policy.
“Simply put, the debt ceiling is incapable of accomplishing what it sets out to do—to control how much the government borrows—as the bills Congress passes are legally binding and cannot be inhibited by such a limit,” Boyle said in a statement.
The statement issued by Boyle cited a Moody’s Analytics report that defaulting on the debt ceiling, which means the government would not be able to spend additional money, would lead to the loss of about 6 million jobs and $15 trillion in personal wealth.