Moran Wants to Eliminate the Federal Debt Ceiling

by ARLnow.com September 13, 2011 at 3:59 pm 3,536 83 Comments

Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) has joined two fellow House Democrats in introducing a bill that would abolish the federal debt ceiling.

The lawmakers — Moran, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) — said the debt ceiling is “an unnecessary law increasingly used as an impediment to Congress’s ability to further economic recovery.” They will be discussing their bill, the Full Faith and Credit Act of 2011, at a press conference on Capitol Hill tomorrow morning.

In August, Moran voted against a compromise budget bill and decried the use of the debt ceiling as a lever that Republicans used to force it through Congress.

“The debt ceiling has been raised cleanly 39 times over the last 30 years, 18 times by President Reagan alone. But for the first time ever, a deal has had to be negotiated to raise the debt ceiling and prevent a default,” Moran said at the time. “Unfortunately, the proposal we are being asked to vote on would be bad for our country. It should be rejected, and President Obama should take matters into his own hands by invoking the 14th Amendment to raise the debt ceiling.”

Political handicappers say it’s highly unlikely that Moran’s debt ceiling bill will pass the Republican-controlled House.

  • Jezebel

    Good! Dang thing is unconstitutional, anyway.

    • Scalia

      I think if the debt ceiling was ever challenged, a conservative (strict constructionist) supreme court would declare it unconsititutional.

      • Jim

        Lets RETIRE JIM MORAN. Go to retirejimmoran.com

        • Bluemontsince1961

          Good luck. There have been a number of organizations trying to do that for a long time, and they were not always composed only of Republicans. No Democrat challenger has been able to beat ole Jimbo, so far. Dollars to donuts Moran will stay in office until he passes away.

  • Brian

    Moran proves yet again he doesn’t actually know what’s in the Constitution. Section 5 of the 14th Amendment reads “The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.” The President doesn’t get to invoke anything. Crawl back in your hole Jimmy.

  • This would be like giving a female college student a credit card with no spending limit and send her off to the mall.

    • BlueLoom

      “female college students” Hmmmmm. Are those of the female persuasion the only college students (or the only people, for that matter) who run up bills on their credit cards? Have you checked your sexism meter readings lately? I think they’re up there in the danger zone.

      • waaaah

        Seriously, some of you people are just ridiculous. Does everything have to be so PC in this country (and on this website)?? OB was using a light-hearted example, or should we call it hyperbole, to express his opinion on raising the debt ceiling and you start going off about sexism. Yes BlueLoom, I am sure OB and the rest of us are quite aware that others besides female college students run up bills on their credit cards. Lighten up a bit. A little levity never hurt anyone.

        Oh shoot, I realized I just wrote “you people” above …I’m sure that is offensive to you as well because what did I really mean by “you people”. Was my comment racist? Sexist? Ageist? Your head must be exploding with judgement upon me right now.

        • +10. Thanks!

        • Josh S

          Actually, waaaah, if you were familiar with OB’s general, shall we say, style on these forums, you’d see it wasn’t that much of a stretch to imagine that his “lighthearted example” while not intended to be a swipe at females in general, did perhaps reveal an underlying tendency to stereotype. It’s certainly not worth making a federal case over or anything like that, but I also think that jumping on BlueLoom’s back like that isn’t justified. And you just come off as self-righteous by doing so.

          • I find the need to defend a ridiculously harmless comment (also described as a “style”).

            Stereotype, perhaps. This article on college student spending has more quotes and references to females than males. Yet, I acknowledge my written stereotype (style).


          • Bluemontsince1961

            Did you ever have one of those days when you just can’t plain win for losing? I understood your original comment to be simply a an analogy that was not intended to be sexist or stereotyping, etc., etc., etc. I guess people see or interpret what they want to see. Your style in these forums never bothered me.

          • Yep it happens often on the net. No biggie. People like to tweak each other for entertainment.

          • drax

            You guys are bickering like a bunch of females.

          • Bluemontsince1961

            GASP! HORROR! Drax said we’re bickering like a “bunch of females!” Stereotyping! Sexist! Politically incorrect! Insensitive! Chauvanism! I am shocked, shocked, I tell you! Why, I expected better of you! You heathen, you Philistine, you politically incorrect and insensitive brute! You go right now into the corner for a time out and you think about what you said and how mean and naughty and insensitive and offensive such stereotyping is and how it can hurt others feelings and cause them a trauma!

            We men can bicker just as good as any woman!

          • drax

            Hey, look, Bluemontsince1961 got the joke!

          • Somebody give me a credit card with no limit! I need to head over to Kohls!

          • Bluemontsince1961

            Shoot, somebody give me a credit card with no limit! I’m heading over to Koons Ford for the biggest, noisiest F-550 double backwheeled, 600 HP supercharged turbo diesel pickup! Heck with Kohls, baby!

        • Bluemontsince1961

          No different from most days on the ARLnow forums; happens all the time.

      • Or maybe you are just stirring the pot.

  • mickey644

    One of a growing list of reasons to NEVER vote for Moron again.

  • KalashniKEV

    Of course he does- a nation of welfare zombies hooked on the gubbamint cheese and enslaved by entitlements would be a Democrat Dynasty without end!

    (Or at least until the end… would 2020 be a good guess?)

  • Buzz

    I’d be curious to learn how Moran voted on raising the ceiling in 2006. I know thatevery democrat in the Senate voted against the raise but can’t find any info on how House members voted at the time.

    • madisonmanor

      It was done/approved by special referendum, so the House members did not vote for it individually – only the Senate (I spent quite awhile researching this last night to see if he flip-flopped on his stance the same way Obama did). But I couldn’t even find anything that indicated whether he supported it or not.

    • drax

      How many Republicans voted for it?

  • Ballstonian

    How does this guy keep getting elected for this area? I imagine there’s some smart young people that could knock him out of his seat in this area. I thought I read recently that this area is one of the most educated areas, richest single people – median income, and great places to live. Just not sure if an ancient old timer really represents the needs of the young’er population of Arlington, just saying. Hell, you could probably keep your day job too, since you’ll be right across the river from your District. Maybe ARLnow should nominate someone to run as an independent against this guy. Just a thought.

    • Chris M.

      Name recognition is the single most important factor in an election. People generally vote for the name they know best within a party affiliation. That is why, absent some criminal act, incumbents almost always win.

      Also, voters also generically suck: http://press.princeton.edu/titles/8756.html

      • Arlington, Northside

        Jim has been on the edge of many crimminal acts. He just fights like a brawler in a town of folks that try to be polite. Once he got his foot in the door, he has be an SOB defending the seat.

      • drax

        Of course, you’re the exception, right? All the other voters suck, but not you.

        • Chris M.

          For the most part, I do not vote in elections where I don’t have an informed opinion. So, in that sense, I think I’m a better voter than most folks, but not all.

          I think its pretty hard to disagree with my point that, generally, voters are uninformed and use poor proxies to make their decisions. But if you want to continue to get personal, I suggest we take it outside! (We could go to Starbucks have and have a civil conversation about our views on the American electorate.)

          • drax

            You talked yourself into being better than others by saying you are a) sometimes uninformed, b) don’t always vote. That took creativity. I gotta hand that to you. 😉

            Seriously, my point was that people often assume the best motivations for themselves and the worst for others.

    • Arlington, Northside

      Honestly? He has folks that like him who are very good at digging up dirt or creating such dirt on any D that shows interest in running against him. He has ben running that way since he was mayor/city board member of Alexandria.

  • Shirley

    It’s so embarrassing that he is my representative. He’s completely clueless.

  • dkuhn

    I nominate Noam Chomsky.

  • lyon park

    I know a Republican has a slim to none chance of getting elected in the 8th District, but can’t the Dumbocrats find SOMEONE to run against this buffoon?

    • Arlington, Northside

      Not with the tactics he uses.

  • brendan

    Nice to see all these people attacking him personally or with only cursory knowledge of how this all works.

    We were brought to the brink of an economic meltdown and constitutional crisis b/c of irresponsible political stunts by a few Members of Congress. While i am not in favor of giving the President of any party a blank check, Congress would retain overall control of the federal budget even if this were to pass. What this bill does is simply limit people from acting like dipshits at the last minute to gain political leverage while leveraging the full faith and credit of our country.

    This is far from a blank check and by no means increases Govt spending. That is all controlled through the annual budget/appropriations process. This simply makes clear to our investors, creditors, and companies of all sizes that US will always pay it’s debt, regardless of which way the political breeze is blowing. That is important. This legislation is important. Cut the personal attacks and make at least some attempt to understand what Moran is advocating.

    • Shirley

      “make at least some attempt to understand what Moran is advocating”

      We do understand and are rejecting it.

      • drax

        Apparently you don’t understand it. The debt limit is pointless.

  • Roquer

    This guy truly needs to change his name to Moron!! No debt ceiling for Democrats? The taxes would be worse than when Jesus was alive!! These Democrats need to be whipped. Need some brains to run Northern Va.

  • YHSPatriot

    The USA can borrow any amount of money for 5 years or less for under 1% a year. We can borrow for 10 years at 1.8%. 30 years: 3.3%

    These are historic low levels and should be taken advantage of and we should borrow money to employ people with stimulus.

    We should be a creditor nation. It is just how economies mature. Learn some economics you fuckin’ tea baggers! (And PS. Austrian economics is wrong!)

    • Hmmmm…… mortgages are historically low as well. I thus should borrow as much as I possibly can, buy a house as big as I possibly can, and maybe even go the interest-only route. It’s cheap to be up to my eyes in debt! Let’s do it! Where do I sign?

    • carlynglen

      …ah, yes! the infamous “cuz that’s just how economies mature” school of economics. I think that was chapt. 4 in my third-year macro econ text book.

      • drax

        So you’re a trained economist?

  • BoredHouseWife

    Moran voted for TARP
    Don’t vote for a Moran.

    Be a nice bumper sticker.
    maybe it will remind the people that he helped the robbers run off with the money.

    • brendan

      do you know anything about TARP?

      I hate it as much as anyone and I would have taken particular pleasure watching BoA and others fall apart… but at the end of the day it had to be done.

      • BoredHouseWife

        Prove it had to be done. You can’t. One has to believe that “it had to be done”.

        • drax

          Yes, it had to be done. Look up what happened in 1929-1930.

        • Josh S

          Well, you can’t prove it if others aren’t willing to accept the evidence and logic you present. That’s true.

    • Kirk
      • drax

        It worked, it was pretty much paid back, it averted a likely devastating financial crisis.

        • brendan

          it did ‘work’ but not in the way it should have.

          unfortunately… Geithner/Summers/Obama/ allowed banks to cheat and steal their way back to solvency.

          Very poorly administered and while it was signed before the Obama presidency, the Democratic administration failed miserably to protect consumers from continued abuse by financial institutions.

          yes, it saved us from 15% unemployment but we let slip the one opportunity for real reform in the banking/mortgage/investment sectors. We had them by the balls… but just gave them a band aid and popsicle and let them to try and play nicer. They clearly haven’t.

  • JimPB

    The debt limit is pointless, except for providing political leverage when an increase in the debt limit is necessary, as the Republicans recently demonstrated, and given the enormous reinforcement for using legislation to increase the debt limit as a lever, the Republicans will use it again, and again, so long as the Democrats have the White House and 41 cohesive votes in the Senate.

    Where the focus should be is on revenues and expenditures, including tax exclusions, tax deductions and tax credits — more than a trillion dollars. The economy, tax provisions and expenditure authorizations and provisions essentially determine the amount of the surplus or deficit, with a mathematically simple impact on the debt.

    It’s very disappointing that the GOP controlled House has not progressed on schedule with hearings and appropriations for the Federal government’s Fiscal Year 2012 that begins 10.1. A continuing resolution, maybe two or more, will be needed. Then, as in the current fiscal year, there will likely be an omnibus appropriations bill well into FY 2012. A hell of a way to run a business.

    I speculate that there may be strategy in the GOP’s not progressing on schedule with appropriation hearings and legislation. If GOP Members engaged meaningfully with the Federal programs for which the committees on which they serve( have responsibility, they might become well informed about the needs addressed by and the achievements and needs of these programs. Such familiarity could bred support. Ignorance facilitates whacking appropriations. One is then just dealing with numbers with lots of zeros behind the first digit or two.

    Bob Riley, a GOP Member of Congress who was one of a very few Republicans who signed the Contract with America who subsequently honored his pledge to term limits, subsequently ran for and served as Governor of Alabama. I vividly recall how the shift in office effected him. As a Member of Congress, Riley said budgets were zeros after a 1 to 9 digit. As governor going around the state and meeting with citizens of Alabama, he learned about the impact of appropriations in the everyday life of fellow Alabamians. Governor RIley saw the need for and benefits of various government programs, which led him to launch an initiative to change the tax code from one based heavily on a regressive sales tax to a fair tax code that properly taxed the vast land holdings of big corporations. The power of monied interests defected his truth. (Chalk up another battle won by those of the wealthy who are waging class war on the middle and working classes and Main Street’s small businesses (the major creators of new jobs).

    • Real World Economics

      Hmm… How the GOP is not progressing “on schedule” with appropriations hearings and legislations. Yep, it’s all George Bush’s and the GOP’s fault.

      Perhaps you can explain why, with a Democrat controlled House, Senate, and White House, NO BUDGET was passed for FY2010? Or perhaps you can explain why the Decocrat controlled Senate has not voted on a budget in 2.5 years???

      The GOP and the Tea Party took a stand to try to bring to light the fact that this country is spending beyonds it’s means. It’s a lot easier to spend beyond your means when you do it piece-meal like the Democrats have been doing for the last several years.

      And obama’s new plan, that he is trying to ram down the throats of congress (so much for his pledge to have all legislation available on line for a period of time before voting) will do NOTHING to solve the economic crisis this country is in. It will make it worse. It is not the job of government to create or provide jobs. It is the job of government to provide an environment in which the private sector can flourish. obama is doing everything he possible can to destroy this country’s economy. Gas prices, the national debt, unemployment have all gone up under his reign and they will get worse as long as he continues to do what he’s doing.

    • Ask your credit card company to provide you a card with no limit and see if they do.

      • brif

        two different situations, what’s your point?

        • As is nearly every comparison. What’s your point? Mine is that if you are not allowed to spend without a limit why should the government funded by your taxes?

          • brif

            that doesn’t make any sense. again, two different situations.

          • Warning! We have reached maximum density!

          • brif

            Um, okay, you win i guess

          • Thanks brif, mehoo, dynaroo, dorf, dax, eieio, and whoever else you are!

          • brif

            So creditors are more willing to extend credit to the U.S. government than people who read arlnow.com, so what?

          • drax

            The point is that a debt limit doesn’t really accomplish that. This is not a limit set by another party, like a credit card company. The government is setting a limit on itself. That limit conflicts with other laws that require spending. Which law must the U.S. Treasury follow? It makes no sense. If Congress wants to cut spending (or raise taxes) to control debt, it should just do that.

            And no, I’m not brif.

  • Don’t think it matters if they remove the debt ceiling, seeing how there is a diminished appetite for our sovereign debt. The bigger problem is fiscal responsibility, which seems to elude both parties. We simply can’t spend money we don’t have and pretend that the economy will recover when it takes $7-8 of debt to create every $1 of GDP ‘growth’.

  • Smithers

    Well, the debt ceiling is really stupid if you think about it. When congress approves the budget for the fiscal year, they are agreeing to spend the money. To come back later and say, we approved all this spending, but you aren’t allowed to pay the bills seems a bit absurd.

    • drax

      Yes, that’s what is lost here. It would have set up quite a bizarre situation if the debt ceiling hadn’t been raised this summer.

    • FW

      You mean…since Congress always approves a budget that spends more than the revenue we take in, they are implicitly agreeing to increase the national debt every time. SO TRUE.

      BTW, only one other country has such a ceiling (Denmark).

  • JimPB

    The debt limit pointless — the deficit and in turn the debt being determined by the economy and revenue and expenditure legislation for each year’s Federal budget — except as leverage, as the Republicans demonstrated this year.

    Unfortunately, the GOP did little work on appropriations for the next Federal fiscal year, beginning 10.1. So there will be a continuing resolution (CR) for the first couple of months of FY2012, then likely one or two more until, well in FY2012, an omnibus appropriations bill is passed. A hell of a way to run a large and complex business.

    The GOP may have forgone hearings on the various appropriation requests as this would have engaged Members closely in the needs addressed by each program and the good work done. Easy to whack budgets for that known largely by fiction rather than fact.

    • Patrick

      The republican controlled house has passed a FY2012 budget. The democrat controlled senate has not passed a budget since April of 2009 for FY2010, however they did vote on Obama’s official budget request for FY2012 and it was defeated 98-0. The fault lies with the senate and the president’s complete lack of leadership on the issue.

      • drax

        A “budget” (budget resolution) is not the same thing as appropriations. Passing a budget is not necessary to fund the government.

        • Josh S

          That..ball…is…OUTTA HERE!!!

    • Patrick

      The GOP controlled house already passed a FY2012 budget. The democrat controlled senate hasn’t passed a budget since april 2009 for FY2010. Obama’s official budget request for FY2012 was voted on by the senate and was defeated 98-0. The fault lies with the senate democrates and the failure of leadership from the president. But don’t let facts get in the way of your ranting’s about the GOP.

      • drax

        Your facts are irrelevant though.

  • 2Wheels2Go

    This is just a grandstand move by a moron who knows he’ll never get voted out of office. Like some of the other commenters, every election I wonder how this guy keeps getting elected.

  • Bluemontsince1961

    Jim Moran……..well, I’ll say this, he is quite a character.

  • James

    There’s a reason he’s only 1 vowel away from being a MORON.

    What’s unconstitutional is our Congress spending us into oblivion and putting our children and future generations in debt.

    And you can see where that is getting us right now.

    BTW…nice work on that solar company Obama. Looks like thats a 535 million load down the drain for the taxpayers. All for your image.

    Can’t wait till you are voted out in 2012.

    • drax

      Wow, what law school did you attend?

  • Burger

    I think Moran is about as clueless as they come but he is right. The debt ceiling is a complete farce. It is a political tool to be used by the party out of power to hammer the party in power about wantonly spending the public fisc.

    • carlynglen

      …and the only reason he is even broaching the issue is his “side” lost this time (and he hasn’t publicly done or said anything stupid lately). If he had any gonads he will advocate replacing the debt ceiling with a balanced budget constitutional amendment….
      … just saying.

      • drax

        How does getting rid of the debt ceiling fit into a balanced budget amendment?

  • brendan

    i know this is the internet… but disappointing to see how immature and baseless the criticisms of this proposal are. i thought were the ‘most educated’ county or something. i guess that tells you something about flaws in using averages, but i digress.

    there are reasonable arguments against this stuff but for some reason people on here who are opposed don’t seem interested in developing any understanding for how the govt works choosing to instead resort to attacking Moran personal with 2nd grade name manipulations and completely idiotic statements about how this impacts spending and taxes.

  • Abe Froman

    Keep spending a-hole.

    Why not just rename the US into the Idebted Republic of Zimbabwe and start printing million dollar bills on them with a portrait of our naked emperor obama on them.

    • Josh S

      What’s frightening is that Abe gets to vote…..


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