As Congress returns from the holiday break, the first order of business is a vote on President Obama’s request for an increase to the debt ceiling. This comes as a result of last summer’s Budget Control Act, which empowers the President to raise the debt ceiling in exchange for a reduction in the debt accrued over the next ten years. Under BCA any member of Congress can introduce a resolution of disapproval on the President’s request. Since it is not expected that there will be enough votes to block the debt ceiling increase, the vote will largely be for show. Reducing the amount of future debt does not equate to a reduction in spending, and future congresses will not necessarily abide by the spending cuts promised by the current congress. According to experts at The Heritage Foundation, discretionary spending will actually increase in 2012.
Following the President’s request, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) penned a letter to President Obama in which he states, “more and more people have come to believe that America is becoming a deadbeat nation.” He pledged to challenge any further increase in the debt ceiling. If the President is successful in his $1.2 trillion request, the nation’s debt will exceed $ 16 trillion.