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Opinion: The debt ceiling needs to be raised as quickly as possible

EDITOR'S NOTE: Boris Epshteyn formerly served as a Senior Advisor to the Trump Campaign and served in the White House as Special Assistant to The President and Assistant Communications Director for Surrogate Operations.

WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - The debt ceiling.

Plan on hearing that term a lot as Congress comes back from August break.

Simply put, the debt ceiling is the legal limit, set by Congress, on how much money America can borrow. The current limit is $19.808 trillion, according to the Department of Treasury. The federal government actually blew through that number back in March of this year.

Congress has until the end of September to raise the debt ceiling. If that does not happen the United States of America will not be able to pay its bills.

The overarching problem we face is that the United States continues to spend more than it takes in.

Government spending is absolutely an issue that needs to be addressed. However, choosing to not raise the debt limit and thus defaulting is not a sensible option.

A default would have dire consequences, such as a large drop in the stock market, a spike in interest rates, as well as a credit downgrade for the United States.

In fact, in 2011, just the uncertainty over whether the debt ceiling would be raised caused a downgrade of America's, then, perfect credit rating. It also cost the government $1.3 billion, according to the Government Accountability Office.

So, if it is necessary to raise the debt ceiling why is it even a question? Politics.

Democrats, and some Republicans, in Congress support a “clean,” no strings attached debt ceiling increase. The White House is behind a clean increase as well.

For many Republicans in Congress, however, they want any debt ceiling hike to be accompanied by spending cuts or fiscal reforms.

The bottom line is this: we have to get spending under control and lower our national debt. Those fronts should be dealt with separately from the debt ceiling. Congress should not play a game of chicken with our economy, our livelihoods. The debt ceiling has to be raised.

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