Rep. Steve King of Iowa teamed up with Reps. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and Louie Gohmert of Texas to introduce legislation Wednesday that prioritizes federal spending if the debt limit is not raised.
The Payment Reliability for our Obligations to Military and Investors to Secure Essential Stability (PROMISES) Act prioritizes payment of military salaries and the interest on the public debt should Congress fail to raise the debt ceiling and the country faces a funding gap.
The impetus for the legislation, according to the three representatives, is to ensure that Washington does not see a repeat of what happened during April’s negotiations over the Continuing Resolution (CR).
“We’ve watched as a couple of things were used as leverage to get agreements here in this Congress,” said King in Wednesday morning’s press conference. “One of them was military pay.”
King added that servicing the debt was vital to maintaining a good credit rating. (McConnell proposal on debt limit prompts swift backlash from conservatives)
“It’s my belief that if we put these two issues together and we get them to the President’s desk … then it’s easier for us to sit down and negotiate what we might do, without the threat of no military pay and without the threat of watching our credit go down,” added King. “These are the two high promises.”
Bachmann reiterated her belief that the U.S. will not no go into default should an agreement on the debt ceiling not be reached by August 2. “This is a misnomer,” said Bachmann, “that the president and treasury secretary are trying to pass off on the American people.”
Later Bachmann said Obama was “holding the full, faith and credit of the United States hostage so he can continue his spending spree!”
All three lawmakers in attendance opposed raising the debt ceiling. And on Wednesday, all three argued that President Obama had been given false information on the consequences of not extending the debt limit. King compared Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s proposal to put the debt ceiling in the president’s hands to the “fox in the hen house.”
When asked if House Speaker John Boehner, who supports raising the debt limit, was also given false information, Gohmert said that yes, “the speaker is getting bad advice.”
Gohmert added that the problem with the speaker’s analysis of the debt limit “is that he believed the president.”