Center for American Progress

Hitting the Debt Ceiling Would Hurt National Security
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Hitting the Debt Ceiling Would Hurt National Security

If Congress does not raise the debt limit, everything our country does to protect our national security and guarantee the welfare of our veterans would be put at risk.

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Talks on a far-reaching deal to reduce the deficit are seemingly at an impasse, and the prospect of the U.S. government hitting its self-imposed debt ceiling appears more likely than it did even a week ago. If Congress does not raise the debt limit, the United States will be unable to pay its bills in full starting on August 3. Reaching that point could have serious, immediate, and detrimental effects on our national security.

The U.S. government borrows about 40 cents of every dollar it spends. As a result, not raising the debt ceiling would force the government to prioritize certain programs over others since the $2.2 trillion of revenues the Treasury Department took in this year falls well short of the $3.8 trillion that Congress has ordered the administration to spend. If we’re unable to make up the difference, everything our country does to protect our national security and guarantee the welfare of our veterans—from paying service members’ salaries to maintaining equipment to funding veterans’ hospitals—would be put at risk.

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