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An elite board of Treasury experts has been mum on the consequences of Congress' failure to meet the Aug. 2 deadline, and the senator calls this unacceptable.

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Orrin Hatch Demands Council Weigh In on Debt-Limit ‘Catastrophe’

An elite board of Treasury experts has been mum on the consequences of Congress’ failure to meet the Aug. 2 deadline, and the senator calls this unacceptable.

An obscure board of Washington insiders whose job it is to monitor the stability and financial health of the nation has been unusually quiet about President Obama’s debt-limit crisis.
 
This absence of any warning from the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) has prompted the Senate’s leading Republican on the Finance Committee to assert his own oversight authority and demand answers.
 
In a letter to the council Wednesday, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R.-Utah) said that a review shows the council’s minutes on July 13 and its annual report approved July 22 do not “identify possible failure to raise the statutory debt limit by Aug. 2 as an imminent risk to the financial stability of the United States worthy of a warning to the American people, and do not come close to recent statements by Treasury officials warning of ‘catastrophe.’ ”
 
Voting members of the council include the Treasury secretary and Federal Reserve chairman.
 
Congress does not have sufficient information about the Treasury Department’s actual cash flow or revenue to make informed judgments, Hatch said.
 
“Many Americans and members of Congress are, unfortunately, relying on estimates and projections from either large Wall Street financial institutions or nongovernmental organizations often labeled think tanks,” Hatch said.
 
“The lack of information is unsatisfactory,” Hatch said.
 
By close of business on Thursday, Hatch wants to know how much money the Treasury Department needs to avoid default, and what the contingency plan is if the debt ceiling is not raised by Aug. 2.
 
Hatch also wants to know whether the council agrees with Obama’s statements that failure to raise the debt limit represents an emerging threat to the financial stability of the United States.
 
Meanwhile, House Speaker John Boehner (R.-Ohio) continued to gather support for his proposal, which the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) now says would cut more spending than the increase of $1.2 trillion of the debt limit.
 
Boehner fought back a rebellion from within the Republican ranks, and swore at members during a closed-door meeting to “Get your [expletive deleted] in line.”
 
“I can’t do this job unless you’re behind me,” Boehner said.
 
The House is expected to vote on Boehner’s measure Thursday night after the markets close.
 
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.), however, says Boehner’s plan will not pass the Senate, while Obama is threatening to veto the measure too.
 
“The speaker’s plan is on life support, and it’s time for him to pull the plug,” said Sen. Charles Schumer (D. N.Y.).
 
However, Reid’s own plan also ran into scoring problems with the CBO Wednesday, which said it falls $500 billion short of its projected cuts in spending.

Written By

Audrey Hudson is an award-winning investigative journalist whose enterprise reporting has sparked numerous congressional investigations that led to laws signed by Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. She won the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi award for Public Service in 2009 for her report on dangerous drug experiments by the federal government on war veterans, which prompted internal investigations and needed reforms within the Veterans Affairs Department. The report also captured first place for investigative reporting by the Washington, D.C. chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and was a finalist of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences Webby Awards for news and politics. Her breaking stories have been picked up and followed by major news publications and periodicals, including Readers Digest, Washington Monthly, and The Weekly Standard, as well as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Washington Post. With nearly 20 years of experience in Washington as a newspaper reporter and as a Capitol Hill staffer for Western lawmakers, she will now lead Human Events‚?? coverage of energy and environmental issues. A native of Kentucky, Mrs. Hudson has worked inside the Beltway for nearly two decades -- on Capitol Hill as a Senate and House spokeswoman, and most recently at The Washington Times covering Congress, Homeland Security, and the Supreme Court. Audrey‚??s email is AHudson@EaglePub.Co

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