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Vote Alert

NTU urges all Senators to vote “No” on S. 1569, the Default Prevention Act of 2013

October 11, 2013

NTU urges all Senators to vote “No” on S. 1569, the Default Prevention Act of 2013. While it is imperative the federal government pay its obligations, lawmakers must also recognize and address the reckless spending and fiscal imbalances that have once again caused the debt to reach its statutory ceiling. S. 1569 fails to do so, and in fact worsens these problems.

The Budget Control Act of 2011 helped reduce the growth of discretionary expenditures by implementing budgetary caps, which have contributed to deficit reduction. As it maintains this course, Congress should now address the long-term drivers of debt: the three major entitlement programs. As it stands, the Congressional Budget Office projects Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid will consume 14 percent of GDP by 2038, which would be double the 7 percent average of the past 40 years. If Congress continues to ignore the unsustainable (and unfunded) trends in entitlement programs, the tax and debt burden placed on future generations will be devastating.

Congress has given itself little time to act, as the Treasury Department claims it will soon exhaust the “extraordinary measures” it has utilized to continue to pay government obligations. It would be difficult to enact comprehensive entitlement reforms in this brief window. Still, Congress can and should create a framework for fundamental reform while making more modest, short-term changes to reduce excess entitlement expenditures. Such near-term changes could include implementing additional means-testing measures in Medicare, increasing eligibility ages for Medicare and Social Security, and improving oversight and waste reduction strategies for all entitlement systems.

President Obama has repeatedly stated that it is necessary to raise the debt ceiling to pay the bills our government has already amassed. S. 1569 runs counter to this narrative, as it would give Congress a blank check for both its current and future bills. It would be extremely irresponsible to suspend the debt ceiling without taking action to reduce deficits for next year and beyond.

The Senate should avoid the dangerous path that S. 1569 would establish, and instead support debt-limit legislation that charts a course for balancing the budget and reducing the government’s debt.

Roll call votes on S. 1569 will be significantly weighted in NTU’s annual Rating of Congress and “No” will be considered the pro-taxpayer position.

If you have any questions, please contact NTU Federal Affairs Manager Nan Swift at (703) 683-5700