FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Can a Nonexistent Congress Issue $1.2 Trillion in Debt?
Pursuant to the Budget Control Act, brought to you by the GOP leadership’s sellout, Obama notified Congress yesterday that the federal debt is approaching the statutory ceiling of $15.194 trillion. [The actual total debt is already $15.237 trillion, but a small amount is not subject to the limit.] As such, he is calling on Congress to grant him another $1.2 trillion in debt, conveniently enough to last him until after the election, with the possibility of saddling his successor with a tough decision over yet another debt limit increase. It is really more of a notification than a request. Obama will automatically receive his $1.2 trillion supercharged credit card unless two-thirds of Congress votes to disapprove of the request within 15 days.
In just three years, he has accrued $4.6 trillion in debt, more than Bush amassed during his entire eight-year tenure. Now he will add another $1.2 trillion by the end of his first term, and, thanks to the horrendous budget deal, which was cheered on by the same outlets that are now fawning over Mitt Romney, there’s nothing we can do about it.
But here’s the question: If Congress is in recess and cannot fulfill its responsibility to advice and consent, as the President has suggested, how can Obama fulfill his obligation of submitting a certification to Congress?
The Budge Control Act requires the following of Obama:
“the President submits a written certification to Congress that the President has determined that the debt subject to limit is within $100,000,000,000 of the limit in section 3101(b) and that further borrowing is required to meet existing commitments, the Secretary of the Treasury may exercise authority to borrow an additional $900,000,000,000, subject to the enactment of a joint resolution of disapproval enacted pursuant to this section. Upon submission of such certification, the limit on debt provided in section 3101(b) (referred to in this section as the ‘debt limit’) is increased by $400,000,000,000.”
Is this submission invalid? Do we need a new submission to start the 15 days Congress has to disapprove of the increase in debt? How was the House able to file the resolution of disapproval and set up a vote for next week? After all, Congress is all but gone, according to Obama.
If Obama wants Congress to issue $1.2 trillion of debt while their gone, imagine what they can do when they’re “in session.”