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Opinion: House Democrats look to Gephardt Rule for free pass to reckless spending

(Sinclair Broadcast Group)

The 116th Congress has an important deadline coming up on March 1st of this year as the federal government approaches the debt ceiling.

Currently, the debate around whether or not Congress should raise the debt ceiling forces Members to go on the record and show where they really stand on fiscal responsibility.


The president, the Senate, or the House of Representatives can actually refuse to raise the debt limit. Now that they have the majority in the House, Democrats led by Nancy Pelosi, are proposing to bring back the so-called “Gephardt Rule.” The rule makes debt-ceiling increases automatic each time Congress passes a budget that would blow through our country’s debt limit.

The Gephardt rule that was first applied in 1980, and has been repealed and reinstated several times, most recently being repealed in 2011.

By reinstating this rule in the House, Democrats are looking to focus their energies on attempting to expand federal government without having to worry about the price tag.

Here’s the bottom line: Politically, this is a shrewd move by Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats which allows them to operate without worrying about being held accountable for any reckless spending that they are likely to seek.

However, elected officials should be held accountable for their actions. They should have to take votes on fiscal responsibility and on other vital issues so that their constituents can make as informed decisions as possible when they head to the voting booth.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Boris Epshteyn formerly served as a Senior Advisor to the Trump Campaign and served in the White House as Special Assistant to The President and Assistant Communications Director for Surrogate Operations.

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