GOP lawmakers want debt display in House Chamber

Three Republican lawmakers want to display the real-time gross national debt in the House Chamber.

Reps. Tom Reed (N.Y.), Trent Franks (Ariz.) and Phil Gingrey (Ga.) introduced legislation on Thursday that would direct the House Clerk to put up the display, which they said would remind lawmakers of the vast national debt Republicans have promised to get under control.

The nation is quickly approaching its $14.3 trillion debt ceiling, and the Obama administration has urged Congress to raise it. This year’s deficit is projected to be $1.6 trillion.  

In their resolution, the three lawmakers said members “should be constantly reminded that the gross national debt must be reduced.” The resolution said the display “will be a sign that representatives are committed to reducing the national debt.”

President Obama and House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) have both introduced plans to cut the federal deficit over the next 10 years or longer. Republicans have charged that the Obama plan isn’t serious enough about deficit reduction, while Obama argued this week that Ryan’s plan would hurt the elderly and poor while asking nothing of the wealthy.