With the current suspension of the debt limit ending on March 16, policymakers will once again be confronted with the need to increase the debt limit or face the risk of default. The repeated drama surrounding the debt limit in recent years has caused some to question whether we should have a debt limit at all. At the same time, in the past it has helped focus attention on the debt situation and has often been used as a vehicle to enact future deficit reduction policies or other fiscal reforms. Several proposals have been put forward to change the process for dealing with the debt limit to improve its effectiveness as a tool for fiscal responsibility while reducing the risk of default.
On Friday, March 13, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget and the Budgeting for National Priorities Project at Brookings hosted a discussion on ending debt ceiling dramas, with a panel of experts who examined if and how Congress and the President should fix the debt ceiling. After the panel, speakers took audience questions.
Senior Director of Economic Policy - Bipartisan Policy Center
Senior Policy Advisor, John McCain 2008
President - Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget
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[On the politics of climate impacts in the U.S.] The political alignment around climate impacts is almost the exact opposite of the political alignment around emissions control.
[On the geographic distribution of climate impacts in the U.S.] The damages to the Republican-electing congressional districts is almost double what it is for the Democratic-voting districts.
[On Brookings research on climate impacts and human health] When you look at the out years, all of these factors have an impact on what people care about, but the really dominant effect is mortality. Literally, there’ll be climate change killing people.