The Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed a resolution on Sunday that would delay Obamacare for a year, stripping it of a key tax on medical devices. The possibility of a historic U.S. government shutdown that would place hundreds of thousands of federal workers on unpaid leave is now a very real one.
This is occurring a few weeks before another deadline – the debt ceiling must be increased by October 17 according to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew or the nation will have to technically default. The limit currently stands at $16.699 trillion, a figure the government will reach by the middle of October.
According to the Washington Post, America’s debt ceiling has been increased 42 times under Republican and Democratic presidents since 1980. Ronald Reagan raised it 17 times. In comparison, Bill Clinton raised it four times and George W. Bush raised it seven times.
If Obama manages to raise the ceiling by October 17, it will be his sixth time. Congress voted to suspend the debt limit completely for three and a half months and then raise it retroactively to cover borrowing during that time frame, resulting in the $16.699 trillion limit currently in place.