May 28, 2024

The four-part Problem Solvers proposal, endorsed by a supermajority of the group’s 64 members, calls for suspending the debt limit initially through the end of this year to allow lawmakers time to complete the fiscal 2024 budget and appropriations process. 

In the interim, the proposal calls for creating an external fiscal commission, modeled after the base realignment and closure, or BRAC, commission lawmakers set up to evaluate military bases. The fiscal commission would be charged with recommending measures to stabilize long-term deficits and debt by the end of 2024, and Congress provided it with expedited authority to act on the recommendations by Feb. 28, 2025.

Under the plan, if Congress both sets up the fiscal commission and adopts controls to reduce the deficit through the fiscal 2024 budget and appropriations process, then the temporary debt limit suspension would automatically convert to a debt limit increase, “the amount of which will be guided by the established interim deficit stabilization controls.”

The Problem Solvers do not specify what controls they are seeking but said the amount should be enough to increase the debt limit through February 2025, to align with implementation of the fiscal commission’s recommendations. 

Problem Solvers Caucus co-chair Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., said his group’s framework is much more likely to become law than the GOP bill, which he hadn’t yet reviewed in detail to determine whether he would support it.