Democrats Should Raise the Debt Ceiling—With a Catch

Office of Inspector General

Suddenly Donald Trump is worried about keeping the government running:

The White House is pushing congressional leaders to strike a spending deal and increase the debt limit in the next two or three weeks, jolted by a recent report that found the Treasury Department was running out of cash much faster than previously forecasted….White House officials have said the debt ceiling must be raised by early September to ensure the government can pay its bills. And spending on many federal programs expires at the end of September, requiring a separate deal to prevent a government shutdown.

Democrats should offer Trump a deal: they’ll support a debt ceiling increase immediately if Trump will sign a bill guaranteeing humanitarian aid and better conditions on the border. Immediately. They should let him know privately that he can spin this any way he wants. If he wants to claim it was his idea, fine. If he wants to say he hates it but is being extorted by Democrats, fine. Whatever. But it’s a limited time deal, so act fast.


Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.