Battle Over The Debt Ceiling
The government is now funded through September, but another deadline is hanging over Congress that imperils the economy of Virginia.
The last time Congress wrangled over the debt ceiling the federal government lost its triple A credit rating. Credit rating agencies say Virginia could also lose its pristine credit rating if the federal government gets locked in partisan warfare once again.
That could make borrowing more expensive for cash strapped locales, according to Virginia Democrat Gerry Connolly.
“It will make any public financing of any project more expensive, costing taxpayers more, and meaning that, instead of stretching the dollar as far as it can go we’re actually reducing the value of the dollar," said Connolly.
But many Republicans say they’ll refuse to raise the debt ceiling unless they reach a deal to cut an equal amount of spending. Virginia Republican Morgan Griffith says unless Congress can cut spending the commonwealth risks a downgrade anyway.
“If we have no plan to balance our budget we will be downgraded. And so I think it’s the responsible thing to do – if we don’t have a plan – to not raise the debt ceiling until we get a plan," said Griffith.
The government doesn’t risk defaulting on its loans until the summer, but the debate is already starting to dwarf other policy areas on Capitol Hill.