Editorial: House kicks the debt ceiling down the road
BY World's Editorials Writers
Thursday, January 24, 2013
1/24/13 at 7:13 AM
As much as Republicans say they detest "kicking the can down the road," that's just what they did Wednesday by delaying a vote on the debt ceiling for at least four months.
The Wednesday vote in the House of Representatives will allow the country to continue paying its bills, but the same issue will have to be voted on again in four months and another fight is likely then. Wednesday's vote probably avoided a stock market tumble and global economic problems.
The Republicans in the House made somewhat of a grandstanding move by including a provision in the measure that docks the pay of lawmakers if one of the chambers of Congress fails to pass a budget by April 15.
Of course, constitutionally, it has little effect. The provision would simply impound lawmaker salaries until a budget is passed or the 113th Congress ends, whichever comes first.
The country has, indeed, gone without a budget for far too long. Both houses of Congress need to set aside petty squabbling and present budgets that can be debated, modified and sent to the president.
Before Congress can get to those two issues, it has to deal with the expiration on March 27 of the stopgap financing measure it passed late last year to keep the government running.
Republicans have insisted that they are willing to let the government shut down and force deep spending cuts or changes to Medicare and Social Security. Without some sort of resolution, the country is facing $110 billion in automatic across-the-board spending cuts to defense and domestic programs.
The country's immediate debt ceiling crisis has been kicked down the road. And the 113th Congress is off to its predictable start.
Original Print Headline: Kick the can