Posted by 22 July 2019
While President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have their differences, they have found common ground in at least two areas: an increase in federal spending and a suspension of the debt limit.
The president and the Speaker of the House, along with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, announced that they have come to a budget agreement that includes $320 billion in new spending and a two-year suspension of the debt limit.
Some see this as a victory for responsible government, as it averts a government shutdown this year and the possibility that the federal government would default on its debt payments. During both the Trump and Obama Administrations, there have been numerous government shutdowns due to differences over federal spending or threats of a shutdown. There have also been repeated attempts to stop the debt limit from increasing, which would end the capacity of the federal government to borrow money to cover the budget deficit. President Trump praised the new spending as a way to revive American military strength.
However, this deal has drawn strong criticism from both liberals and conservatives. Liberals do not like that this agreement precludes them from using the spending process to stop the Trump Administration’s actions at the border. They argue that Congress is giving up a prime way to counter the president’s moves. Conservatives, on the other hand, decry the increased spending and government borrowing that will come from this agreement. They note that the president ran on a platform of fiscal responsibility, and that this deal is the opposite of that.
When President Trump entered office, the budget deficit was $516 billion. It will likely top $1 trillion this year. Government debt was $19 billion when the president was sworn in; today, it is $22 trillion.
Congress must pass this budget deal. While party leaders in both the House and Senate support it, there will be strong opposition from some members.
Do you support the budget deal that President Trump and Nancy Pelosi negotiated? Do you agree that the federal government should spend an additional $320 billion? Is it a good idea to suspend the debt limit?