WASHINGTON, D.C. — Members of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives will return to Washington, D.C. this week, following the holiday recess, with just more than a month to go until the U.S. government reaches its current debt limit.

“I think there will be a fight over the debt ceiling.  I can see that coming from my colleagues on the Republican side.  I can understand their frustrations,” said U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV).

Some Republican leaders have said they would not support raising the debt ceiling without additional spending cuts.  However, President Barack Obama has indicated he is not willing to negotiate about raising the debt limit.  He has said he wants a “clean” increase.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has urged Congress to move quickly to raise the debt ceiling, which would allow the government to borrow money to pay the bills that are already due.

“The creditworthiness of the United States is an essential underpinning of our strength as a nation,” Lew said in a letter sent to Congressional leaders last year.  “It is not a bargaining clip to be used for partisan political ends.”

Manchin said he wants to see a long-term plan toward a balanced budget, possibly as soon as 2025, implemented.  “I just hope we’re all reasonable in being able to sit down,” said Manchin.

The U.S. government is on track to reach the current debt ceiling by Feb. 7.  At that point, Lew has said emergency steps could be taken to possibly extend the borrowing authority into early March at the latest.

A Congressional standoff on the debt ceiling in 2011 lead to a downgrade for the country’s credit rating.

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  • blugldmn

    Didn't Obama say he would not negotiate on Obamacare but has altered the law something like 20 times already they executive order?

    And now he won't nfgotuate on this ?

    I guess that means he will do what ever he wants via executive orders, the hell with the constitution.

    • Shawn H

      He also said that raising the debt ceiling was irresponsible and showed a lack of leadership....when Bush was in office.

  • Hillbilly

    You better learn to speak chinaese because they will be our masters one day .

    • Shadow

      At this rate, sooner than later......

  • Aaron

    Mr. Lew is doing the same thing every other Treasury Secretary has done since 1996 and predict of catastrophic consequences if the debt ceiling is not raised, which is nothing more than a scare tactic. While there certainly are some long term repercussions, in the short term the US and its daily revenue can meet obligations for several months.

    Once the money shifting was exhausted, the US would still not default on our debt as constitutionally we have to pay our bills. At that point, we simply couldn’t spend more than we take in meaning discretionary spending would have to be cut.

    As someone who believes we have 535 members in Congress who lack the internal courage take care of our problems by paying our debts now and would instead rather kick the can down the road to our children and grandchildren, I hardly see how that is a bad thing.

    In fact, I agree with the2006 junior Senator from Illinois who said “The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. government can’t pay its own bills. ...”

    As our leaders are all cowards who lack the ability to lead, I believe it is time we pass a Constitutional Amendment requiring a balanced budget. As has been proven time and again, the only way Washington will pay bills on time and not spend recklessly is if they are required to do so by law as was the case during the 1990’s.

  • joe from martinsburg

    Obama and his pipe dreams wake up you can't keep giving all the money away. You keep giving to those not working cause they want to be leeches and only give it to those who have a work history I'm ok with. But taxing those who work more is wrong while you and the rest of dc steal money . A ideal quit now and let working people run this country. Cause a lawyer is the legal name for a crook.