WASHINGTON, D.C.– U.S. Sen. David Vitter today introduced an amendment on behalf of fellow U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) that would enact the provisions of Sen. Toomey’s Full Faith and Credit Act, a stand-alone measure with 21 U.S. Senate co-sponsors. The amendment, offered to the Patent Reform Act currently pending on the Senate floor, would ensure that the U.S. government does not default on its debt by requiring the Treasury to prioritize payments on the debt in case the debt ceiling is not raised.
“We need to take the possibility of default off the table so everyone can sit down at the table and have a serious and honest conversation about cutting spending and instituting structural reforms to put our country’s finances on a sustainable path,” Sen. Toomey said. “The Full Faith and Credit Act will allow us to have that conversation by eliminating the possibility for default in case the debt ceiling is not raised. Failing to raise the debt ceiling is not a desirable situation and would be disruptive, but the worst thing we can do is simply continue the irresponsible deficit spending that jeopardizes our economic future.”
“I support this proposal by Senator Toomey that would clear the way for a serious debate about unsustainable federal spending as Congress considers raising the debt limit,” Sen. Vitter said. “The Full Faith and Credit Act would defuse the administration’s sky-is-falling rhetoric by spelling out the Treasury secretary’s responsibility to prioritize debt payments if Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling. This would remove the threat of default on the government’s debts and allow us to focus on serious efforts to tackle the debt and balance the budget.”
In addition to the amendment Vitter introduced on Toomey’s behalf, Vitter also announced his intention to introduce his own second-degree amendment to ensure that, along with prioritizing debt and interest payments, Social Security benefits for seniors will also be protected.
"Our legislation would blunt some of this false sense of urgency – the same scare tactics used to rush through the bailouts of automakers and Wall Street banks – by ensuring we don’t default on our most pressing obligations,” said Vitter.