Democratic Reps. To Introduce Legislation Abolishing The Debt Limit

A group of six House Democrats will introduce legislation tomorrow to abolish the debt limit, a law they say is “unnecessary and increasingly an impediment to Congress’s ability to further economic recovery.” Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Hank Johnson (D-GA), Jim Moran (D-VA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Keith Ellison (D-MN), and Peter Welch (D-VT) will announce the legislation at a press conference tomorrow, according to a joint release, in an effort to “move forward with legislation that actually promotes jobs, economic recovery, and growth”:

Only a year-and-a-half after the last disastrous debt ceiling debate, House Republican leaders plan to use the same political brinksmanship again this year in order to impose their extreme and economically regressive agenda on the American people. A repeal of the debt ceiling would allow Congress to move forward with legislation that actually promotes jobs, economic recovery and growth.

A similar group of legislators, led by Nadler, also introduced legislation to abolish the debt limit in 2011, after Republicans demanded spending cuts in exchange for raising it. The result of that debt limit fight was the first credit downgrade in American history and the creation of the so-called “fiscal cliff” that Congress spent the last month trying to undo. The fight also led to increased borrowing costs that totaled $18.9 billion and at least a million jobs.

The United States is one of only two democratic countries, along with Denmark, that has a statutory debt limit that requires the legislative branch to separately authorize borrowing and spending. The Danish congress, however, has “set the ceiling high enough so that it never slows the process of borrowing money and they can avoid political conflicts,” according to ABC News. Yesterday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said “it would be a good thing” if the U.S. abolished its debt ceiling.