Washington (CNSNews.com) - Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) said that routinely raising the debt limit is a problem that needs to stop, and that defunding Obamacare is vital to the nation’s current and long-term fiscal health.
In a speech at the National Press Club Thursday, Bachmann said she will not support any plan that raises debt limit -- and yet doesn't offer a "fundamental restructuring of government spending habits."
She added that it is not urgent to raise the debt limit now, despite leaders from both parties saying the limit has to be increased.
“The president called raising the debt ceiling the routine thing done in Washington, D.C.,” said Bachmann, who is running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. “I’m here to say to all of you today, that’s the problem. It’s become the routine thing that is done here in Washington, D.C., and the American people have said enough. We have to stop making raising the debt limit routine.”
“The president’s $2.7 trillion debt limit increase is anything but routine,” she said. “His increase will be the largest debt increase in the history of the nation and here is the kicker: We can give the president $2.7 trillion in increase [but] it will only last one year.”
“Only one time have we raised the debt limit more than a trillion and that increase was for $1.9 trillion -- and guess what, that also occurred under President Barrack Obama’s watch,” she said.
Bachmann went on to say that the debt limit should only be raised during emergencies, which she said is not the current situation.
“We can’t handle the current level of debt that we have,” said the congresswoman. “We know that and so we need to cut back. Now, while there may be times when we do need to increase the debt, particularly in emergencies, that is not the situation that we’re in right now. This is simply a function of over-spending. It’s simply a function of choosing failed policies.”
Bachmann called on the president to use the revenues that the federal government regularly takes in to pay the interest on the debt.
“I call on President Obama today, in fact, to agree to pay the interest on the debt,” said Bachmann. “That is the amount that we can pay from our current revenues. Then president Obama needs to exercise the leadership that he’s failed to exercise thus far and follow the examples of Speaker John Boehner, who has actually presented a real plan before the Congress to prioritize our spending.”
As CNSNews.com has reported, the revenue the government currently is taking in, nearly $200 billion per month, is enough to pay the interest on the debt, as well as cover Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the Veterans Affairs department and federal workers wages and insurance benefits (including wages and insurance benefits for military personnel).
At the National Press Club, Bachmann accused President Obama of using “scare tactics” to get his way on the debt ceiling negotiations. She called it "striking" that President Obama "has failed to exercise his duty to provide leadership and present his own plan. Instead the president insists that Congress give him a blank check for another $2.7 trillion so he can continue the reckless spending that I came to Washington, D.C. to stop."
She also said that Obama’s health care law needs to be repealed and defunded in order to deal with the government’s fiscal problems.
“I also believe that we must repeal and defund Obamacare as part of any solution to our current debt crisis,” said Bachmann. “Why? Because Obamacare is the largest spending in entitlement program ever cast in our nation’s history.”
“The president promised the average American household would save $2,500 per year in health insurance premium,” she said. “He also said the federal government would save money as well. Neither promises came true. That means at a time when we can least afford it, President Obama added to our spending problems by the trillions, and without its repeal it would be almost impossible to have real economic reform.”
The debt ceiling is the amount of money the federal government is legally allowed to borrow. Currently, the limit is $14.29 trillion and was reached on May 16. The Treasury Department has warned lawmakers and the president to reach a deal on raising the debt ceiling to borrow more money by Aug. 2 or face a potential default on some U.S. obligations.