H.R. 187 would require the Treasury to prioritize payment of obligations using a five-tiered payment structure if total debt subject to limit is at the statutory maximum. Under the bill the Treasury could issue debt that would not be subject to the statutory limit in amounts that would be sufficient to meet obligations for the first tier: the principal and interest on the public debt and the obligations of Social Security and Medicare. Payment of obligations would be prioritized as follows:
Tier I would include payments for public debt, Social Security, and Medicare;
Tier II would include payments for obligations of the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs;
Tier III would include payments for obligations of any program not in a designated tier;
Tier IV would include payments for certain federal employee union activities, executive branch travel, and compensation of the President, Vice President and some political appointees; and
Tier V would include compensation to Members of Congress.