Treasury to Weigh Which Bills to Pay
The way bills are paid by Treasury mandates that they be paid in order and that Treasury doesn’t have the power to prioritize, (that’s something reserved for the House of Representatives in reality since all legislation concerning government payouts contains verbiage on the logistics that must be met by law.)
This is a construct destined for many Fox outrage of the day reports as seniors might go unpaid and judging by past performance they will try to pin everything on Obama when in reality it’s all dependent on invoicing, payout and audit logistics and due dates set by House enabling legislation.
The Treasury Department is preparing to answer a question that it has dodged and rebuffed for months: If there’s not enough money for everyone, who is left empty-handed?
Officials said Wednesday that the department would address the issue later this week unless it became clear that Congress would vote by Aug. 2 to let the government borrow more money.
The outlines of the answer, however, already are clear. Officials have said repeatedly that Treasury does not have the legal authority to pay bills based on political, moral or economic considerations. It cannot, for instance, set aside invoices from weapons companies to preserve money for children’s programs.
The implication is that the government will need to pay bills in the order that they come due. President Obama has warned as a result that the government “cannot guarantee” payments of Social Security benefits or other popular programs. Officials also have disputed the assertion of some Republicans that the government could prioritize interest payments.
Several independent analysts estimate there is enough money on hand to pay the bills until Aug. 10. Treasury has declined to provide its own estimate.
“You’re basically running on fumes from midnight Aug. 2 forward,” the White House spokesman, Jay Carney, told reporters Wednesday.