For months, Democrats and Republicans have clashed over raising the debt ceiling. It is estimated that the Treasury Department will have exhausted its means for the government to pay its bills on time by as early as July, and so far there is no compromise. Republicans seek to push Democrats to agree to federal spending cuts before agreeing to raise the debt ceiling while Democrats want to see a budget plan from congressional Republicans — of which there currently is not one. The last time President Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy met regarding budget negotiations was on February 1 of this year.
Should the U.S. fail to raise the debt ceiling by the time summer rolls around, the government will effectively default on its loans and will cease to be able to pay out cornerstone social programs such as Social Security and Medicaid, as well as military salaries, tax refunds and a host of other things: The government’s reputation globally would likely take a big hit, affecting trust of, say, purchasing U.S. bonds.
Biden’s current budget plan carries a price tag of over $6 trillion — with increased funding in defense and social programs — shoring up the cost by implementing higher taxes on wealthy individuals and corporations. Biden’s budget stands virtually no chance of becoming law due to Republicans narrowly controlling the House, underscoring the necessity for a bipartisan solution. The U.S. has never defaulted on its debt before; it would be unprecedented if it did. According to the U.S. Treasury website, Congress has acted 78 times since 1960 to raise the debt limit — 49 times under Republican presidents and 29 times under Democratic presidents.
While the issue of the debt ceiling remains unresolved, Congress has been weighing whether to ban TikTok, the massively popular social media platform that gets used by over 150 million Americans. The argument boils down to a predatory collection of personal data that users are not aware is being harvested. With the company being based in China, politicians are questioning whether the social media app is a national security issue. House Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) took to TikTok underscoring that a move banning TikTok would be unprecedented, as the United States has never banned a social media company before. Further, the move doesn’t address the core issue of social media companies at large being able to collect personal data from their users without any significant regulation.
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