GOP Senator Revives Phony Fix For The Coming Debt Ceiling Standoff

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA)

During the 2011 debt ceiling debacle — when House Republicans threatened to push the country into default unless they received policy concessions — Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) attempted to fix the situation with the “Full Faith and Credit Act.” The bill would supposedly prevent default by prioritizing certain federal payments in the event that the debt limit was reached and borrowing shut off.

Now that Congress has to raise the debt ceiling again in the next few months, Toomey is back with his bill, as Slate’s Dave Weigel reported:

On Laura Ingraham’s show today, Toomey averred that “we have to raise the debt ceiling” as a “stop along this path” to fiscal sanity. And then he resurrected Full Faith and Credit.

“We should pass a bill out of the House,” he said, “saying there will be certain priorities attached to certain things, namely payment of debt services and payment of our military.”

As ThinkProgress explained at the time, Toomey’s plan is unworkable and doesn’t prevent the U.S. from defaulting on its obligations. These charts from the Bipartisan Policy Center show why. Once the debt ceiling has been breached and Treasury has exhausted the extraordinary measures at its disposal to avoid default, the government will be limited to only the revenue that comes in each day. BPC lays out what happens:

Toomey’s bill doesn’t fix this problem and doesn’t prevent the U.S. from stiffing someone who is legally owed money.