Senate fixes debt limit (2-15-41)

Reading Eagle (February 15, 1941)

Bill, passed on voice vote, goes to F. R. next week
Washington, Feb. 15 (AP) –
Congressional leaders today forecast speedy House concurrence in Senate amendments to the $65,000,000,000 federal debt limit bill, making it possible to send the measure to the President early next week.

The bill, a major feature of which already had been approved by the House, was passed by the Senate yesterday on a voice vote after adoption of minor amendments. The present debt limit of $45,000,000,000, plus a $4,000,000,000 authorizations for use only in special circumstances.

The Senate action came only after some members of both major parties had called for new taxes to finance the defense program and Senator Byrd (D-VA) had predicted that a $100,000,000,000 federal debt could be expected at the current emergency continued.

Byrd urges crisis

Byred predicted that by July 1, 1943, or within the ensuing year, the “overall” debt would mount to $100,000,000,000. He urged drastic cuts in non-defense expenditures. Senator Wheeler (D-MT) suggested that the Senate be “realistic” and raise the limit to $100,000,000,000 at once.

The debate produced discussion as to the possible cost of aid to Britain, and Senator Taft (R-OH) said it was his “guess” that the cost would be about $5,000,000,000 in the first year. Senator Vandenberg (R-MI) estimated that the Treasury would have $7,000,000,000 available for such aid in the year beginning July 1.

In addition to raising the debt limit, the legislation would subject income from future issues of federal securities to federal taxation and would give the Treasury flexible authority to issue securities of small denominations to attract thrift savings.

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