House Republicans passed legislation Wednesday to ensure debt payment on the national debt would go forward in the event the debt ceiling is not raised in the coming days, but the chief sponsor says President Obama and Democrats refuse to embrace that protection of the U.S. credit rating and will not take steps to rein the government’s insatiable spending. In a vote largely along party lines, the House approved the Default Protection Act. Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., the lead sponsor of the bill, said this one-page measure could save the United States from financial misery if Congress and the president cannot find common ground on the debt ceiling. “It simply guarantees the sovereign debt of the United States will be paid in full and on time, regardless of what differences and quarrels we are engaged in in Washington,” McClintock said.

Noting that the U.S. national debt now exceeds the size of its economy, McClintock said protecting the credit rating of the United States is essential and more difficult as the debt soars. “When people lend you money, they generally like you to pay it back,” he said. “Until you do, they like you to pay interest on that. If there is any doubt that the full faith and credit of the United States will be honored, the interest that is charged to us for borrowing could go up. It could spike. Given the amount of debt we’re carrying, that would be absolutely catastrophic.” FULL REPORT