The GOP-controlled House of Representatives voted to raise the nation’s debt ceiling until May, staving off one of three quickly-approaching deadlines, each of which threaten to put the country back into recession.
Right now, the U.S. is projected to reach its debt limit by mid-February. The House bill, if passed in the Senate, would suspend the federal government’s borrowing restrictions until May 18.
Up next on the clock is the $1.2 trillion across-the-board sequestration scheduled to take effect on March 2. The U.S. Department of Defense is facing a possible $500 billion cut in spending, as well as the loss of over a million jobs.
“Contractors connected to the defense industry are already beginning to feel the effects of the potential cutbacks,” said IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger. “There’s uncertainty in the defense sector. Government contracts have either been frozen or pushed back. Workers are bracing themselves for potential layoffs. It’s only a matter of time before those effects begin to seep into the general community. Congress must act to avoid sequestration immediately.”
In addition to sequestration and the debt ceiling, the continued funding of the government is also up against a tight deadline. The government is projected to run out of money by the end of March unless Congress agrees to more funding. Republican lawmakers are threatening inaction, unless President Obama and Congressional Democrats agree to cuts in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
“The answer to this debt crisis is not more cutbacks,” said Buffenbarger. “We see what that has done in countries like Greece. The answer to this debt crisis is jobs. Put America back to work and the economy will begin working again, as well.”
Click here to tell Congress and the White House to avoid sequestration and avert the debt crisis by creating jobs.