By Darsh Mirchandani
The debt ceiling, which is the limit on the amount of debt that the United States can carry, has been the subject of attention recently. It was raised three times during the Trump administration, with bipartisan support. However, the most recent raising of the debt ceiling has turned into a precarious, high pressure situation for the Senate Democrats.
Senate Democrats, with their narrow majority, faced difficulty trying to raise or suspend the debt limit. This was because Republicans said they would have no part in increasing the debt that Democrats racked up. Liberals say the accumulation of debt was a shared burden. The GOP insists that if the Democrats want to increase the debt ceiling, they should do so via a process called budget reconciliation. This allows them to raise the debt ceiling without a single Republican vote, which would be required otherwise. If the debt ceiling is not raised, that would prevent the government of the United States from paying its debts. This scenario would result in an international financial calamity, raising interest rates for those who want to borrow money and forever tarnishing the creditworthiness of the United States.
“I definitely side with the Democrats on the issue of raising the debt limit amidst this crisis. I believe that the pandemonium that would ensue if the debt ceiling is not raised would prove to be disastrous,” said eighth grader Shohom Chakraborty.
Artwork by Sabeena Ramdarie, @jammin_with_jelly
Democrats and Republicans have begun to argue due to recent Democratic support for raising the debt ceiling.
Voting to raise the debt ceiling has a complicated and mixed past. Most votes to raise the debt ceiling in September 2017, February 2018 and August 2019 were bipartisan. Some examples are the votes in 2006 and 2007, where Republicans, who had the majority, provided enough votes needed to raise the debt ceiling. Recently, Senate Democrats and Republicans have come to a proposal to raise the debt limit by $480 billion. This moves the nearing deadline of default from October 18 further back to an estimated December 3. Eleven Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, joined all 50 Democrats to pass this measure. The House of Representatives voted to pass this proposition with every single Republican voting no. This is only a temporary fix, as Democrats may have to go in alone when it comes to raising the debt ceiling by a more substantial amount.
“As time goes by, the American people will receive a clearer picture of what is to come and how the Democrats plan to proceed...”
“I believe that the ongoing debt ceiling crisis is a perfect illustration of childish partisanship between Republicans and Democrats within the United States. It is very hard to hold out hope for the United States when our own government is filled with spineless bureaucrats who care more about party showmanship than the people who elected politicians to represent them in government,” said junior Anna Detke.
As time goes by, the American people will receive a clearer picture of what is to come and how the Democrats plan to proceed. The future will reveal whether the two parties will either work together or continue to remain steadfast for their beliefs.