BPC Blog

Kean and Hamilton stress vigilance, Fran Townsend discusses Benghazi hearing on CNN, and much more

The Bipartisan Policy Center’s (BPC) Homeland Security Project (HSP) leaders and members regularly comment on security issues facing our nation. The views expressed in these articles do not necessarily represent the views of the project, its members or the BPC.

Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton in The Hill:

“Keeping our country safe is the government’s first responsibility. In a time of economic austerity, hard decisions and trade-offs are needed. Even if prolonged periods pass when we haven’t suffered an attack, the public must avoid complacency. Our strongest asset in strengthening our security is an informed and active public that continuously demands action by the government.”

The recent swearing in of the 113th Congress marked a historic moment for women in politics

Amidst much chatter about the lack of diversity in the president’s nominee selections as he assembles his new Cabinet, it is important to note that the recent swearing in of the 113th Congress marked a historic moment for women in politics. Of the Senate’s 100 members, twenty are now female, including five who join the ranks for the first time. In the House of Representatives, 85 Republican and Democratic women now serve, accounting for nearly 20% of the body.

To mark the occasion, ABC’s Diane Sawyer sat down with 19 of the twenty female Senators from both sides of the political aisle, who spoke candidly about the need for more bipartisanship in the Senate.

If the legislation is enacted by the end of January, the debt limit increase on May 19 would be approximately $450 billion

Updated January 24, 2013

UPDATE: Obama signs debt-ceiling bill

UPDATE: H.R. 325, The Debt Limit, and Extraordinary Measures: A Technical Note

UPDATE: Senate votes to temporarily suspend federal debt limit

Last week, at the House Republican retreat in Williamsburg, VA, members of the leadership team announced that they were considering a short-term increase in the debt limit that would allow Congress to address several other budget-related deadlines first. These include the automatic across-the-board sequestration cuts set to take effect March 1, the March 27 expiration of the continuing resolution to finance the federal government for the current fiscal year, and the April 15 deadline for a congressional budget resolution for the next fiscal year.

Today, the House of Representatives approved a bill (H.R. 325) that seeks to implement the short-term debt limit increase while forcing the Senate to pass a budget resolution this year, which that chamber has not done since 2009.

In case you missed it, here's what they've been saying about BPC this week

Morning Joe (websize).png

Leigh Gallagher on MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe’:

“It’s so very different from how we used to do things. Bob Dole and George Mitchell used to have dinner together once a week to talk about doing business together. It’s what was done.”

BPC's Financial Regulatory Reform Initiative regularly highlights news articles, papers, and other important work which illuminate current and new thinking within financial regulation. We circulate these articles to provide a full view of cutting edge ideas, reactions and positions. The views expressed in these articles do not necessarily represent the views of the initiative, its co-chairs, task force members, or the Bipartisan Policy Center.

BPC's Financial Regulatory Reform Initiative regularly highlights news articles, papers, and other important work which illuminates current and new thinking within financial regulation. We circulate these articles to provide a full view of cutting edge ideas, reactions and positions. The views expressed in these articles do not necessarily represent the views of the initiative, its co-chairs, task force members, or the Bipartisan Policy Center.

What was acceptable during the Revolutionary War is probably not a good idea in an advanced economy

In a vivid illustration of just how far our political discourse has fallen, the upcoming confrontation with the debt ceiling has brought with it serious discussion of defaulting on our obligations, minting trillion dollar coins, and printing IOUs. 

Back during the 2011 debt limit event, there was much talk of the president invoking the 14th Amendment (“… the validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law … shall not be questioned”) to unilaterally resolve the debate. Considering the enormous potential costs of issuing debt with unknown legal validity – including higher interest rates and jeopardizing the reserve currency-status of the dollar – it’s good that the White House Press Secretary Jay Carney quashed the idea during a December press conference, stating: “This administration does not believe that the 14th Amendment gives the president the power to ignore the debt ceiling – period.”

Once the X Date is reached, White House and Treasury officials will find themselves in largely uncharted waters

Absent an increase in the debt ceiling, there will come a day when Treasury exhausts its borrowing authority and runs out of cash on hand to pay the nation’s bills. Starting on that day – which the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) refers to as the X Date – daily revenues will be the only means by which Treasury can cover the payments that come due. Since the federal government is running a large deficit, these cash flows will be insufficient to meet all obligations.

 

Congress must raise the debt ceiling in the weeks ahead or risk setting off an ugly chain of events

In recent weeks, some policymakers and media mavens have opined that if the United States pays in full and on time the principle and interest on its sovereign debt, then that means no “real” default has occurred, just a “technical” default. First, elementary but important facts:

  1. The United States issues sovereign debt, which pays interest to holders of that debt and is redeemed at face at maturity;
  2. Sovereign debt is NOT the only indebtedness of the United States – we have millions of payment obligations that come due every day;
  3. Either of these categories of debt can be paid only if the United States Treasury has the money to do so; and
  4. A failure to pay any of these debts is to default on those debts.
We take a final look back at the top moments from another busy year at BPC

By Abbey Brandon

Michael Stubel contributed to this post.

Click on the images below to view more photos


1. A Century of Service, March 21

COS_520.jpg

We honored two remarkable men and BPC founders, Senators Howard Baker and Bob Dole, for their distinguished military service, storied careers in elected office, and combined public service of more than a century. Vice President Joe Biden made remarks along with nearly every former living and current Senate majority leader.

Pages

Subscribe to BPC Blog