ObamCare weighs down budget

Amber Porter

Once again, the budget has taken the front seat in Congress. This round, however, Republicans decided to play ball by removing funding for ObamaCare in the Continuing Resolution, which temporarily funds our government because we cannot even agree on a budget for an entire year. At the same time, the Treasury says it will not be able to pay its obligations past the first of October and has asked for another debt ceiling raise. If we do not raise the ceiling, then the government could potentially default on its payments. If nothing is done and the government does shut down, we don’t save money. Instead, we repay what would have been spent in a lump sum.

Last week, the House passed a resolution that funded the government through Dec.15, 2013, while at the same time defunding ObamaCare and addressing the debt limit. President Obama refuses to negotiate with the House, and the Senate is expected to dismiss the resolution altogether.  He later said that there has never been a situation when non-budget items have been attached to debt ceiling legislation. The Washington Post quickly refuted this by providing an excellent example from President Carter’s Administration. In 1980, Congress repealed a specific part of President Carter’s energy policy within a debt-ceiling raise, which the president vetoed but Congress overruled.

President Obama also argued that raising the debt limit does not incur more debt. It may not directly, but it most certainly allows us to borrow more. If the Treasury knows it is about to default, they give Congress a deadline and hope the ceiling will be raised before they default. We know we can spend more because we can just raise the limit later, which means having a limit at all is almost ceremonial. Furthermore, if the government is going to raise the limit, it should be done in the long-term. The way we create the budget would not make sense in any other setting, and must be reevaluated.

A weeklong recess began yesterday, meaning Congress cannot vote until next Monday, the day before many believe the ceiling will be met. President Obama has admitted that his healthcare plan is not ready to be implemented, take that along with the urgent need to raise the ceiling and fund the government, and I don’t think he has a choice but to agree to this resolution.