Some members of Congress are calling this week a make-it-or break it historical moment, as they debate raising the nation’s debt limit and shrinking the actual debt. But, Alaska’s Representative Don Young is not participating in the work in Washington. Instead, he’s up in Alaska for the week.
The Congressman’s office says he has a long-scheduled fundraiser for a charity named for his late wife Lu Young that benefits Alaska Native families with cancer. It’s a fishing trip out of Whittier this Wednesday through Friday. Young does not have public events on his calendar.
Because he’s in Alaska, Young will miss a high-profile vote Tuesday in the House on a Republican-pushed bill called “Cut, Cap and Balance” which would require the federal government to make cuts, cap spending at a percentage of gross national product, and create a
Constitutional amendment ordering that the federal budget be balanced.
Young has not yet weighed in on the plan. He skipped a planning and information meeting with his fellow House Republicans on Friday.
The bill is expected to pass the House Tuesday but it will die in the Senate, where Democrats are opposed to it. President Obama says he would veto it anyway. But House Republican leaders say it’s an important vote to get members’ positions about a balanced budget on the record.
While Young is gone from Washington, the debate over the debt ceiling is reaching a fever pitch. If Congress does not raise the debt limit, the U.S. won’t have enough money to pay its bills.
President Obama and Alaska’s Senators have warned that could mean a stop in Social Security payments and paychecks for military service-members, and a cash-flow problem for departments like Homeland Security.
Congressman Don Young has said he does not believe it will be a big problem, but he did call it “playing financial Russian roulette.”