Lower the Debt Ceiling? Republican Wants to Decrease Limit

Jul 7, 2011 1:49pm

ABC News’ John R. Parkinson (@JRPabcDC) reports: 

Up until now, the debate to solve the country’s looming debt crisis has focused primarily on increasing the debt ceiling while finding some cocktail of spending cuts, tax reform and entitlement reform to sweeten the deal for enough Republicans and Democrats to pass a statutory increase.

But at least one Republican lawmaker actually wants to decrease the debt limit from where it stands now at $14.3 trillion down to $13 trillion by the end of the fiscal year.

Rep. Paul Broun, who introduced the Debt Ceiling Reduction Act Wednesday evening, says his measure would compel Congress to actually pay off a portion of the national debt and drastically cut spending by the start of the next fiscal year, Oct. 1.

“We have overspent, we are overextended, and now have to get out of debt,” Broun, R-Ga., said on the House floor Thursday afternoon. “We need to turn this country in a completely different direction.”

Broun says his proposal would “force Washington to make the spending cuts we so desperately need to pay down the debt.”

“State and local governments, businesses, and families understand that when you’ve maxed out your credit card, you can’t give yourself a credit increase,” he said. “Instead, you have to cut spending and pay down your bills.  The federal government is the only entity that does not understand this.”

So far, Broun has not sought out co-sponsors for the legislation and there are no plans thus far from the Republican leadership to bring the measure to the floor for a vote.

The Treasury Department says that lawmakers have until August 2 to pass a deal through Congress and send it to the president’s desk before the country defaults on its debt obligations.

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