“The full faith and credit of the United States should never be questioned.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on voting to raise the debt ceiling - a key limit of what the government can borrow to pay bills.
dec 15, 2021
- Congress voted to raise the debt ceiling early Wednesday morning. That means the government's "borrowing authority" increases by $2.5 trillion.
- The Associated Press presents some good context: "Established in 1917, (the debt ceiling) serves as a brake on spending decisions already endorsed by Republicans and Democrats alike — in some cases decades ago — that if left unpaid could cripple markets, send the economy into a tailspin and shake global confidence in the U.S."
- The vote over the debt ceiling was mostly along party lines - with few Republicans joining Democrats to vote for the increase. The debt limit increase was needed before Democrats attempt to pass a large social spending bill that increases government spending.
- The nation's current debt is around $29 trillion, but rising every day due to decisions from both parties - regardless of any new legislation passed.
- Why It Matters: By raising the debt ceiling, Congress avoids a U.S. government default with only hours to spare before it would have hit a deadline. A default would have sent shockwaves around the world, and raised questions about the financial stability of the U.S. government.