House Republicans Pass 'Plan B' For Debt Ceiling | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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House Republicans Pass 'Plan B' For Debt Ceiling

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Remember when the federal government lost its Triple-A credit rating? That was because of partisan bickering over raising the debt ceiling.

While the two parties haven't even started serious negotiations over raising it again, House Republicans already passed their plan B. The bill allows the government to pay Social Security beneficiaries and foreign governments if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md. says the bill picks winners and losers instead of dealing with the entire budget.

"In this bill, our veterans are not a priority," says Van Hollen. "Our troops risking their lives in Afghanistan, they're not a priority. China is a priority. They're not."

Republicans argue they aren't preparing for the U.S. to default on its debt for the first time in history. They say they're merely giving the government wiggle room if Congress fails to reach a deal. But Rep. John Delaney, D-Md. argues even passing the bill sends a signal to other countries that the U.S. is weak.

"To try to impose that on the United States, which is a fabulous credit, can always repay its debts, is really I think not only silly, but reflects a lack of understanding as to what credit, debt, and finance really means."

The bill isn't expected to even come up for a vote in the Senate, and even if it did President Obama has threatened to veto it. Still, the bill reignites a contentious debate that's not going away anytime soon.

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