After record spending for two years in a row, White House warns failure to raise debt ceiling would bring ‘economic crisis’

January 3, 2011 09:20

The $13.9 trillion national debt is creeping closer to its $14.3 trillion ceiling, and a vote to increase that limit is expected in the spring.


The top White House economic adviser warned lawmakers Sunday that the United States faces a catastrophe if Congress does not raise the debt

ceiling, as spend-averse Republicans indicated they’d be willing to support the increase so long as certain conditions are met.

The debt ceiling debate is one of the first major legislative clashes on tap as lawmakers return to Washington this coming week for the start of the 112th Congress.

He suggested that if the vote collapses, “that would be the first default in history caused purely by insanity.”

Allen West, a newly elected Republican congressman from Florida, said that while he doesn’t think the government will shut down, a serious discussion about controlling spending must be a condition.

“It’s not going to be a blank check that comes from Allen West,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.”


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