Happy Debt-Ceiling Day? What Colorado's Elected Officials Think About Raising the U.S. Debt Limit

May 2011

"Debt-ceiling day" is upon us, and although the country will at some point today be $14.3 trillion in debt—if it isn't already—for most of us, this May 16 will go on as usual. But some part of life will eventually change for certain Americans once our U.S. elected officials decide how to handle the matter.

For now, Colorado's representatives are split—from the Republicans, who want to negotiate a ceiling increase in exchange for cuts to spending or programs like Social Security and Medicare, to Democratic Representative Ed Perlmutter, who doesn't want to see other issues discussed during the vote on the debt ceiling (Denver Post). But Democratic Senator Mark Udall, whose Balanced Budget Amendment has moved him toward the political right, says his fellow legislators need to resign themselves to spending cuts (as well as tax increases) if they want to see the ceiling rise.

And rise it must, warns Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, or the country will reel from "catastrophic" consequences (Denver Business Journal). Geithner's cautionary words are in response to a letter from Democrat Michael Bennet, Colorado's junior U.S. senator, who is attempting to place a sense of urgency on Congress to raise the ceiling before the country defaults on the debt in early August. 

Meanwhile, Bennet is also at the forefront of the renewed DREAM Act, the federal version of legislation that would allow certain undocumented students who graduate from U.S. high schools to either serve in the military or attend institutions of higher education on in-state tuition, thereby providing a path to citizenship (EdNews Colorado).