The budget ceiling and the Gephardt Rule

The so-called Gephardt Rule (in honor of Representative Dick Gephardt who introduced its first version) provided that when the House agrees to a budget resolution, the Clerk shall prepare a joint resolution suspending the debt limit for the fiscal year covered by the budget resolution. It was repealed at the beginning of the 107th Congress, which had a Republican majority.

The Gephardt Rule reflects the language of the 14th Amendment and would obviate the current GOP debt ceiling default threat hostage-taking, returning the budget debate to where it belongs—when the budget is being written. No do-overs between budgets, and no threats to the good faith and credit of the US.